The Western Australian wine producer Palandri Wines has announced plans to raise close to A$30m in a share offer, in an attempt to raise capital to fund its US expansion.

The plan offers investors units in Palandri American - a separate operating arm, which sells the company's wine in the US via an agreement with Marie Brizard - at A$21.45. The money raised will then be used to fund its expansion into the US and to plant an additional 45 hectares of vines.

In its America Wine Business prospectus today, Palandri said the US market should overtake the UK for Australian exporters of fine wine soon. Palandri director Robert Broadfield said: "The USA is the fastest growing export market for premium Western Australian wines such as Palandri, with sales up 64 per cent in 2002."

The company, based in Margaret River, plans to progressively roll out its product throughout the US via the distribution network of Marie Brizard.

Palandri, which leases unitholders vineyard plots for 18 years, has raised an estimated $A120m in previous offerings.

The company has projected that investors should recoup their original investment within a seven-to-eight-year period.