Xanadu Wines has announced that it is to acquire 100% of the Barossa-based wine producer Next Generation Wines (NXG) by issuing 2.1m Xanadu shares at 37 cents each.

Xanadu's Managing Director Andrew Moore said the acquisition was an  important part of the company's export growth strategy and would add  to its 52 overseas listings (UK supermarket outlets) to bring its  overall listings to a total of 66.

"NXG's rapid rise through their aggressive marketing provides us with significant additional export strengths in sales and marketing, as well as furthering our winemaking skills," Moore said.

In 2003, 70,000 cases of NXG's Vin Five brand will be distributed in the UK through 14 listings. It is anticipated that within five years this number will increase to 350,000 cases. Vin Five is currently sold into the UK and will be launched in Australia, Canada and the USA within 12 months to build a worldwide presence.

"International expansion is a focus of Xanadu's future growth strategy and exports represented 60 per cent of total sales in 2002," Moore said.

According Moore, the UK continues to be the most important market for Australian wines with Vin Five an emerging brand in that market.

"Next Generation is an export focused company with strong brands and the management, marketing and wine making talent and skills to improve on its already successful record," he said.

Xanadu's additional brands are Secession, Xanadu and Lagan Estate. Since acquiring Normans in October 2001, the Chais Clarendon, Old Vine and Lone Gum brands have been added to the Xanadu stable. Prior to the acquisition of NXG, Xanadu's group processing capacity was 5,500 tonnes of fruit, which, the company said, allowed for substantial growth in export and domestic markets.

Xanadu said that in addition to being earnings per share positive, the acquisition of NXG will add the extensive wine industry experience of Sam Atkins who will take on the role of General Manager at Xanadu Adelaide Hills.

David Cumming, will join Xanadu as marketing manager Adelaide Hills, bringing his experience from Southcorp Wines, as well as his history from his family's boutique winery in the NSW Highlands.