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SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa launches "Jacob's Creek rival"

14 Jun 2001

A new ultra-premium range of single varietal wines has been launched by one of South Africa's biggest and most modern wineries. The Rhinofields range forms part of a long-term strategy by Durbanville Hills, a R70m (US$8.66m) joint venture between Distell and seven wine farmers in one of the Cape's most sought after wine areas.

SOUTH AFRICA: SAB should look at its own shortcomings

31 May 2001

South African Breweries should look at its own shortcomings regarding its financial woes, rather than continuously point fingers at the Cape's wine producers. Wine producer organisation, VinPro, is strongly against SAB's claims that a "wine lake" of cheap wine on the domestic market was one of the main problems for the slump in its domestic beer sales.

SOUTH AFRICA: Distell dual legal battle continues

10 May 2001

Distell this month continues its fight for survival as a merged company while battling to retain the rights to produce and market Martell brandy in South Africa. This dual battle has been raging since last November, and continues in the Cape High Court on 29 May when Distell asks for leave to appeal the findings in the Martell case. Meanwhile, notice to appeal against the findings of the Competition Tribunal has already been lodged with the Competition Appeal Court in Pretoria.

SOUTH AFRICA: Distell merger under investigation

20 Apr 2001

Far reaching consequences could result from South Africa's Competition Tribunal findings that the merger between Distillers' Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery was a notifiable transaction. The Tribunal presented its findings in Pretoria late yesterday and in its summary it found that although there were three major shareholders, there was no conclusive evidence that they operated together in directly controlling the direction of SFW and Distillers.

Cuts in labour widespread in South Africa drinks industry

17 Apr 2001

South Africa's alcoholic beverage industry is under immense pressure and three large companies, the KWV Group, Distell and South African Breweries are all restructuring. None are providing exact details to what extent jobs are being shed but many are sure to go. Arnold Kirkby reports.

SOUTH AFRICA: Record Nederburg Auction - but need to market event overseas

9 Apr 2001

There was a greater need to market the annual Nederburg Auction overseas after another poor showing by foreign buyers who successfully bid for only 16.26% of the record R6.4m ($0 .79m) worth of wines which went under the hammer this year. Of those exports, 7.1% went to Namibia and in particular to one specific buyer, the Heinitzburg Hotel group.

SOUTH AFRICA: KWV maintains headline earnings in tough conditions

30 Mar 2001

The KWV Group succeeded in not only maintaining its headline earnings for the six-month period to 31 December 2000, but achieved a 1.9% increase. This is in spite of a 20.8% reduction in the attributable income from the group's associate company Distell and continued pressure on sales in the local liquor market.

SOUTH AFRICA: Seagram and Bulmer try to reverse Distell merger

27 Mar 2001

The Competition Tribunal has reserved judgement while it weighs up all the evidence put before it in the attempt by Seagram Africa and Bulmer SA to try and turn around the merger between Distillers' Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery. Another group of players were allowed to enter the fray, namely the National Union of Food, Beverage and Allied Workers' Union, which was petitioning on behalf of employees, warning of major job losses.

Aspirations of African giant tempered by controversy

27 Mar 2001

Last week witnessed the birth of Distell, South Africa's new drinks giant and the tenth largest drinks company in the world. Arnold Kirkby reports on its plans to challenge the world's biggest and the fight to still see it disbanded.

SOUTH AFRICA: Seagram wins Martell sales dispute

1 Mar 2001

Seagram has been awarded judgement, with costs, over disputed sales figures for Martell brandy, which was produced under licence, marketed and distributed by the former Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW). Martell has been part of the SFW portfolio in South Africa since the mid-1960s. The current deal is a five-year rolling contract with an automatic annual extension if the annual sales objectives are achieved. It also makes provision for Seagram to renegotiate the contract if the agreed sales figures fall below 80%.

SOUTH AFRICA: KWV Investments squeezed by Distell's dismal figures

23 Feb 2001

The dismal interim figures released by the newly merged Distillers-Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery group, Distell, have impacted on those of the KWV group's JSE Securities Exchange listed holding company, KWV Investments. In a profit announcement and dividend declaration report released on Wednesday, net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders was down 43% for the six months to December 2000 compared with the same period in 1999. This amounted to SAR36.09 million (£4.5m) compared with SAR63.46 million.

SOUTH AFRICA: A bitter budget for South African liquor industry

22 Feb 2001

Although finance minister Trevor Manual presented what he called a "sweet taste of liberty" budget to the nation, South Africa's drinks industry was dealt the "bitter pill" of higher excise duties. In general he offered a number of incentives to tax payers but the government was set to recoup some of that money through higher excise duties.

SOUTH AFRICA: Distillers Corporation/SFW merger records losses

20 Feb 2001

Combined net attributable profits of the newly merged South African liquor giant, Distell, declined by 47.8% to a fraction under R121m for the six months to December 2000, with further declines expected during the current period to June. This is the first interim report for Distell, formed by the merger of Distillers Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery. They will officially launch the new company in March.

SOUTH AFRICA: Multi-million Rand upgrade for Distell's Bergkelder Mountain cellar complex.

11 Jan 2001

Distell has spent almost R3 million upgrading its Bergkelder cellar complex in Stellenbosch to meet international tourism standards. The Bergkelder cellar is one of the main draw-cards on the Stellenbosch Wine Route attracting more than 20,000 visitors annually.

SOUTH AFRICA: Distell share price down on JSE Securities Exchange

29 Dec 2000

Shares in Distell, the merged South African liquor giant, bred from Distillers Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, have recovered slightly after dropping 16 percent since it issued a profit warning on 14 December. After dropping to 680c (16 percent) on Wednesday, shares in the newly merged group picked up marginally to close at 700c yesterday (Thursday), 13.5 percent off the trading figure of 810c on 14 December.

SOUTH AFRICA: South African wine authority readies for structural shake-up

12 Dec 2000

The South African Wine & Spirit Exporters' Association has not only streamlined its name to Wines of South Africa - as it is known internationally - but intends redefining itself in the new year. A general members meeting will be held in early January to ratify a change in the structure of WOSA from an export association to a Section 21 non-profit company, according to CEO Su Birch, who took over the post in May this year.

SOUTH AFRICA: Distillers' Corporation + Stellenbosch Farmers Winery = Distell

5 Dec 2000

South Africa. Distillers' Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers Winery directors have renamed their newly merged company Distell. This was announced after the two companies today started traded under a single name on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. "We have decided on the name and will be working establishing the new identity and image of the company - with an official launch planned for March next year," said Andre Steyn, spokesman for the new company.





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