TWE has been the subject of speculation over a possible sale of the business

TWE has been the subject of speculation over a possible sale of the business

The CEO of Australian Vintage has revealed he would prefer rival firm Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) not to be sold to a foreign company. 

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks at the London Wine Fair today (3 June), Neil McGuigan, said: “We would like Treasury to stay in Australian hands, I think that would be our preferred position.”

Asked why this is his view, he said: “Because having your largest wine company owned by Australians is the right thing. I think they (TWE) have fantastic brands, they have fantastic people, they have fantastic resources and I hope it gets resolved very, very quickly.”

TWE has been subject of speculation over a possible sale as the group has struggled of late. Last month the Penfolds producer revealed it had received a US$2.85bn offer for a takeover by private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. TWE rejected the bid, but did not rule out considering other offers.

The company, which is targetting savings of AUD35m (US$32.7m) in its next fiscal year, has also dismissed reports linking Pernod Ricard to its US wine assets and, separately, Constellations Brands. TWE’s US business was hit by a AUD160m (US$145m) writedown last year as the company decided to destroy out-of-date stock.

The full just-drinks interview with Neil McGuigan will appear later this month.

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