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Australian Vintage In Talks On Joint Venture

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AUSTRALIAN VINTAGE, formerly known as McGuigan Simeon, says it is in discussions with the drinks company Constellation Brands to pour some of its assets into a joint venture.

The US-based Constellation owns Australia’s second-largest wine business, Hardy.

The two companies have discussed combining their Australian and British wine operations. In exchange, Australian Vintage would receive a substantial interest in the new entity. It described the talks as preliminary.

The company recorded a loss of $123.64 million for 2008-09 after years of restructuring and millions in write-downs and impairment charges.

Constellation has also been under pressure and recently cut 350 jobs from its Australian operations in a restructure that included closing some wineries.

Last month Foster’s announced it would transfer 13 Australian wine brands to a joint venture with Vok Beverages in return for 50 per cent equity in the new entity.

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Sunday, August 20, 11:43 am

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