McWilliam's deal accepted

Creditors endorse McWilliam's recapitalisation offer

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DEAL: McWilliam's creditors have accepted a deal which will see Prcstnt Asset Management take ownership of the business in October.

DEAL: McWilliam's creditors have accepted a deal which will see Prcstnt Asset Management take ownership of the business in October.

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Prcstnt Asset Management to take control of McWilliam's in October.

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CREDITORS have voted to accept a deal which will see McWilliam's Wines Group sold to an asset management firm.

Prcstnt (pronounced persistent) Asset Management's recapitalisation proposal was accepted by creditors on Friday.

The deal will see McWilliam's cease being a family-owned company when the deed of company arrangement is finalised in October this year.

"This is an extremely positive outcome for all involved, especially in the current challenging economic environment," KPMG Australia's restructuring services partner, Gayle Dickerson said.

"Not only will unsecured creditors likely receive full repayment of their debts owed, it preserves ongoing employment for all McWilliam's staff and a possible return to existing shareholders," she said.

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KPMG were appointed as administrators in January with Ms Dickerson and fellow partners, Tim Mableson and Ryan Eagle, tasked with finding a good outcome for stakeholders.

McWilliam's continued to trade during administration and produced a 2020 vintage before it was offered for sale.

The deal is valued at around $50 million and will see unsecured creditors receive between 94 to 100 cents in the dollar.

McWilliam's Wines Group CEO, David Pitt, will continue to lead the business.

"Whilst it has been a challenging journey over the past six months from bushfires to voluntary administration and a pandemic, we are now very excited to have our future confirmed," Mr Pitt said.

"The McWilliam's family for six generations have demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit required to take on all challenges before them, now myself and the broader team are very much looking forward to working with Prcstnt Asset Management as the new custodians of that legacy to ensure the McWilliam's brand lives on for future generations within Australian wine heritage.

"What is additionally exciting is Prcstnt's focus on the environment and sustainability in everything they do.

"Consumers in general are extremely conscious of their impact on the environment so if we, as a wine producer, can meet this need then we will be well positioned for success into the future."

The acceptance of the deal was confirmation the Australian wine industry was "open for business" according to KPMG's Mr Mableson.

"McWilliam's is a historic wine company in Australia with respected brands and strong market positions. Through injection of further capital from Prcstnt," he said.

"McWilliam's will be better placed to scale its business in both domestic and international markets, particularly into Asian markets.

McWilliams Wines Group has over 140 years of history, after the first grapes were planted in Corowa, and then Hanwood and elsewhere in the Riverina.

The company's portfolio includes brands such as McWilliam's, Mount Pleasant as well as Australian distribution rights for Taittinger and Framingham.

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The story McWilliam's deal accepted first appeared on The Area News.

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