Treasury Wine Estates looks to sell wineries to help turnaround - reports
The head of Treasury Wine Estates has indicated the company could sell off some of its wineries and bottling plants as its looks to return to profit.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Michael Clarke, who took over as TWE's CEO in March, said: “We don't have to own all the vineyards”, adding that some of its assets “could be in someone else's hands.” Clarke is attempting to turn the Melbourne-headquartered company around after it reported full-year net losses of AUD100.9m (US$93.5m) in August, following high profile writedowns.
Clarke is reportedly examining TWE's 12,778 hectares of vineyards, wineries, cellars and bottling plants to find assets to sell and lease back to allow money to be invested back into the business.
“We can achieve our growth agenda without owning some of this infrastructure,” Clarke told Bloomberg. It comes after last week TWE announced a move to close one of its South Australia wineries, the main plant for its Rosemount label.
Clarke said he wanted to change the group from “an agricultural company to a brand-driven, marketing-led company”. However in August, Clarke had said the group would consider acquiring "luxury assets" in the US.
The TWE head, a former Coca-Cola Co and Kraft Food exec, also suggested he wanted to transform the group's Etude Pinot Noir label into a global brand, according to the interview. Currently the brand's core market is the US.
The company is also reducing its spend on trade-focussed events and is investing more in consumer marketing. In the UK, TWE confirmed to just-drinks today it would not be exhibiting at next year's London Wine Fair and will instead concentrate on ProWein.
In September, TWE said it had pulled out of negotiations after two separate takeover bids from private-equity firms.
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