TWE announced a number of structural changes today

TWE announced a number of structural changes today

Treasury Wine Estates' CEO has refused to rule out a takeover, telling reporters that new changes to company structure will happen “independent of who may or may not own the business”.

Michael Clarke, who last month rejected an offer from a private equity firm, said today (25 June) that the changes represent a “road map” for TWE. “I think it is a very good road map and I think, irrespective of ownership, it's the road map that anyone would pursue,” Clarke said.

Asked if the structural changes rule out a takeover of the company, Clarke said: “No.”

TWE has been subject of speculation in recent months over a possible sale. As well as the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co move, Pernod Ricard and Constellation Brands have been linked to TWE's US unit.

TWE today flagged a AUD260m (US$243.6m) writedown in fiscal 2014 and a splitting of premium and mainstream wine in Australasia into two units.

The Australian wine maker is also moving the release of its premium Penfolds Bin series and icon & luxury collection wines to October instead of March and May to give retailers more time to sell. The move means there will be two releases of the wines in this calendar year, a TWE spokesperson told just-drinks.

On today's call, Clarke said a promotion in Australia that will see wine fridges offered at discount prices is a “very good deal”. The 32-bottle fridges have an SRP of AUD640 but will be available at about AUD200 to consumers that buy six bottles of Penfolds.

Clarke added: “I'm pretty sure we're going to be pulling through a lot of Penfolds product in the marketplace.”

The CEO also said the “majority” of the writedown was related to assets “in the US and the majority of it relates to brands”. The charge follows a AUD160m writedown in the US last year.

Expert analysis

Global Wine Market: News and Events May 2014

Global Wine Market: News and Events May 2014

Synopsis The report provides a review of the latest news and key events in the global wine market during May 2014. Summary Using this report, marketers will effectively gain an insight into the more