A new global wine investment house has been formed. Global Wine Partners LLC, an investment bank created by founders of California-based wine business consultancy MKF Group, is merging with Australia-based International Wine Investment Fund and an Australian affiliate to form a wine investment house to be traded on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The new company, International Wine Investments Ltd, is a combination of Global Wine Partners with the fund and Sydney-based Berren Asset Management, already the fund's investment manager. The merger is pending IWI shareholder approval early next year.

The 15-year-old fund has invested more than A$200m in wine, vineyard, and distribution operations in the US, Europe, and Australia.

Vic Motto, chairman and CEO of Global Wine Partners and a founder of MKF, will be executive director of the new group.

"Our view of the overall picture is that the industry has been getting stronger for the past 14 to 15 months," Motto said in a statement. "In this period of expansion, winery and vineyard owners are looking for capital. We're now in a stronger position to help, because we have the capital source inside our organisation."

Earlier this year, MKF Group merged with International Wine Consultants Pty Ltd., which had offices in Sydney and Paris and a 44% stake in Berren, to form Global Wine Partners.

MKF had been working with International Wine Consultants since 2002, when that firm hired MKF to identify US$50m in investment opportunities for the fund.