AUSTRALIA: Cabonne to raise $22m for expansion

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The Australian winemaker Cabonne Ltd announced yesterday that it was looking to raise over A$22m to help drive its expansion as demand for its wines grew in the US and UK markets.

The group is transforming itself from a bulk winemaker into a super premium producer and is also changing its name to Reynolds Wines. It is now turning to the stock market to raise the money via a rights issue and a placement of cumulative converting preference shares.

In particular it was reported that the money would go towards commissioning bottle and packaging lines, acquiring more wine storage tanks and for working capital.

The Sydney-based group is also beginning a global search for a new chief executive after the company's founder and current chief executive Peter Poolman announced recently he was stepping down to become  deputy chairman and consultant to help Cabonne expand its UK and US distribution networks.

The group is also considering acquisitions, if the right ones came along, Poolman said yesterday. In the meantime, Cabonne would also begin selling off its non-core businesses, including Cabonne Management Ltd, which was the former manager of the prescribed interest farmer projects.

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