The Wine Group has submitted a fresh buyout bid for Golden State Vintners (GSV). The Wine Group, whose previous offer of US$7.25-a-share was rejected by GSV in favour of a bid from a group led by chief executive Jeffrey O'Neill for the same amount, announced late last week that it has upped its offer to $7.75 per fully diluted share.

In a statement, The Wine Group CEO David B. Kent said: "We are excited with the prospect of acquiring GSV's collection of modern, efficient vineyard and grape processing facilities for the growing, crafting and bottling of Central California wine.

"TWG has a wealth of internal experience and expertise in bulk wine and brandy services as we were very active industry suppliers through the mid-1990's. We look forward to renewing these relationships and again exceeding customer expectations for such services," he added.

Following GSV's rejection last month, Kent said in a statement: "We don't understand how a properly functioning board of directors, when presented with our offer, can agree to a transaction that is contingent on the ability of a newly- formed company to raise such a substantial amount of money.

"The Wine Group's offers to acquire GSV have never been conditioned on financing," Kent continued. "We have concluded that under these circumstances it does not make sense for The Wine Group to bid against itself."