Foster's planned sale of 4,000 hectares of vineyards in Australia and the US will probably be executed for less than book value of $240m, according to Credit Suisse analyst Larry Gandler.

However, the sale could help reduce Australia's the long-term grape oversupply, he said, with some expectation that the Australian Government could buy larger Foster's properties in the parched Murray-Darling irrigation zone to return water to environmental purposes.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics has estimated the 2009 winegrape harvest at 1.6m tonnes, up to 14% above the 1.4-1.5m tonnes needed to satisfy domestic and export sales.