Lion Nathan has secured a long-term import presence for its wine portfolio in the US.

The trans-Tasman drinks company, which saw it previous US distributor, Beam Wine Estates, sell up to Constellation late last year, confirmed today (2 June) that it has acquired US wine importer Cumulus Wine for an undisclosed sum. Constellation has agreed to the transfer of Lion Nathan's Australian and New Zealand wine portfolio to Cumulus - which will be renamed Lion Nathan USA - within the month.

"We are very excited about Lion Nathan USA," said company's wine group managing director Anthony Roberts. "Our strategic objective is to establish the best possible route to market for our wine brands.

"By establishing Lion Nathan we can tap into the proven skills of (Cumulus Wine's) USA sales team and create an Australasian-focused portfolio of premium regional fine wines. The USA team have extensive customer relationships gained through years of experience working with Australian wines."

Lion Nathan bought Cumulus Wine from the Cumulus Group, which is based in New South Wales in Australia.

Last month, Lion Nathan posted a 7% year-on-year lift in operating net profit for the six months to the end of March, coming in at A$167.7m (US$160.8m). The increase came on the back of rising sales in the period, up by 7.9% to A$1.12bn.