The Australian beer and wine group, Lion Nathan, has announced that it is restructuring the management of its wine division as it integrates Banksia Wines fully into its operations. Chris Milner, general manager at Banksia, is to leave the company at the end of this month, Lion said.

Lion had to wait to integrate Banksia into its wine division until two months ago when Allied Domecq agreed to sell the 15% it retained in the South Australia wine producer. When it was still 15%-owned by Allied, Lion had to retain an independent management structure for the company. It is this management structure which is now being dismantled.

Lion Nathan reportedly offered Milner a relocation and a position elsewhere in the Lion group which the Banksia general manager declined. The reorganisation is also reported to have resulted in other departures from Banksia, which owns the McLaren Vale brand, Tatachilla, and St Hallett in the Barossa Valley.

Lion is also increasing cost-saving efforts at its wine division through the centralised buying of bottles, corks, screw caps and packaging.