AUSTRALIA'S biggest family-owned winemaker wants a partner.
The Casella family is selling vineyards and other land on 35 properties across an enormous 7258 hectares (17,935 acres) in South Australia and NSW.
Casella's brands include the popular Yellow Tail.
Casella want the new "strategic partner" to own and operate a lot of its vineyard portfolio in South Australia and the Riverina region.
The proposed sale includes a selection of their landmark vineyards in Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Langhorne and Currency Creek, Limestone Coast, and the Riverina.
Casella is offering a long-term sale agreement so it keeps the wine grapes from these vineyards to ensure ongoing supply for its already established brands.
Some Casella-owned vineyards located in the Riverina and Barossa are not included.
The vineyards will be sold in one line.
Casella has engaged Colliers' Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean to launch an expression of interest campaign.
Mr Altschwager said he was unable to comment on an expected prize range for the winemakers' properties.
The company says it will continue to source from growers across NSW and South Australia.
"The intended sale will not impact these longstanding relationships or contractual agreements in place," the company said.
The process will be undertaken in two stages, with the initial EOI closing on June 8 before preferred bidders are shortlisted by June 10.
The intended partnership deal is expected to look like this:
Mr Altschwager said the strategic partnership presented a unique opportunity to buy into a successful and well-established agri-business with a mutually beneficial long- term grape supply agreement.
"We expect there will be a lot of interest in the opportunity to acquire quality vineyards in some of Australia's most highly regarded wine regions," he said.
Casella managing director John Casella said the decision to offer the properties followed a review of its operations.
Mr Casella said the family's decision aligns with a strategic objective to focus resources on setting the business up for long-term success.
"In line with this, proceeds from a successful sale will be reinvested to support the growth of the company's wineries and wine brands in the domestic and international markets."
He said the company was in "a sound financial position" after having recently experienced global record sales for (Yellow Tail) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"While demand has stabilised, we are forecasting future growth due to ongoing investment in our brands supported by a strategic innovation pipeline," Mr Casella said.
"The intended strategic partnership will allow us to focus on strengthening our brands globally, and therefore deliver positive outcomes for the Australian wine industry."
Casella says its flagship Yellow Tail accounts for about 17 per cent of all Australian exported wines, a major hit particularly in the US.
Casella Family Brands is still based in Yenda NSW (near Griffith) where Italian migrants Filippo and Maria Casella first settled and made wine in 1969.
The family 's winery at Yenda is today the largest wine production facility in Australia.
John Casella took the company to new heights with the launch of the Yellow Tail label in 2001.
The company struggled in 2013 by posting its first loss, largely due to a high Australian dollar, but has since bounced back.
The company also sells Casella Family Wines, Peter Lehmann Wines, Brand's Laira, Morris of Rutherglen, Baileys of Glenrowan, and Atmata.
For more information on the sale contact Tim Altschwager on 0408 814699 or Nick Dean on 0411 267136.
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