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Lion sells Aussie wine brands to Accolade

LionLion has offloaded its Australian premium wine business to Hardy’s owner Accolade Wines for an undisclosed sum after deciding against further investment.

Lion, which also owns brands including Toohey’s, XXXX and Dairy Farmers milk, is selling the Petaluma, Croser, St Hallett, Knappstein, Stonier and Tatachilla brands, four Australian wineries and distribution networks, but will retain its NZ and US wine businesses.

“Lion has a range of competing opportunities for investment in its core categories of beer and cider and has been unable to prioritise the investment required to grow Fine Wine Partners to a size justifying its fixed cost base,” Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said.

“With the improvement in market conditions we have come to the decision that this is the right time to realise a fair price for the business.

“I would like to thank all those who have worked incredibly hard to make Fine Wine Partners such a quality business under Lion’s ownership. We will work with Accolade Wines and our people to ensure a carefully managed transition in ownership.”

Lion will retain its wine businesses in both New Zealand and the United States given the importance of those assets for its New Zealand domestic business and its plans to grow its presence in the international alcohol market via Lion Global Markets.

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