Deal to save McWilliam's falls through

Riverina winery McWilliam's back up for sale after deal to save business falls through

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FOR SALE, AGAIN: The creditor-endorsed deal to save McWilliam's has fallen through, and the storied winemaker is up for sale again.

FOR SALE, AGAIN: The creditor-endorsed deal to save McWilliam's has fallen through, and the storied winemaker is up for sale again.

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Historic winery was placed into administration in January 2020.

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A DEAL to save an iconic Riverina winemaker has fallen through.

Asset management firm Prcstnt was set to complete the Deed of Company Arrangement, which would have seen them take ownership of McWilliam's Wines Group in October.

However, the deadline for providing the cash for the deal has passed, and KPMG administrators Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and Ryan Eagle allowed two extensions to the deadline.

It's believed the second extension's deadline expired on Wednesday last week.

McWilliams Wines was placed in administration earlier this year, and in July, creditors overwhelmingly approved a $46 million deal to save the company.

During the July creditor's meeting Prcstnt talked up the prospect of growth for McWilliam's brands as well as through acquisitions and distribution deals.

The deal would have taken the company out of family ownership but was set to preserve the jobs of staff and see creditors receive between 90 and 100 cents in the dollar for what they're owed.

McWilliam's Wines will now be placed back up for sale.

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Colliers International - which handled the sale the first time, has been appointed as the selling agent again.

The assets of McWilliams Wines Group are being offered for sale as a group, or individually.

Tim Altschwager from Colliers International said the failure of the DOCA represented an extraordinary opportunity.

"We anticipate wide-ranging interest from major wine industry participants, private equity investors, high net worth individuals," Mr Altschwager said.

"In particular, existing wine industry groups will see an outstanding opportunity to add an iconic Australian name to their portfolios.

"McWilliam's does not currently have an extensive international distribution network, which makes this a substantial opportunity for a buyer with existing overseas networks to ramp the business up."

Among McWilliam's Wines Group assets is the historic Hanwood winery, which has capacity of up to 42,000 tonnes, and Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley which can produce 800 tonnes annually.

The 141-year-old winemaking company was started by Samuel McWilliam when he emigrated from Northern Ireland.

McWilliam first planted grape vines near Corowa in 1877, before planting vines in Hanwood in 1913 and constructing a winery which produced its first vintage in 1917.

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