New Zealand regulatory authorities have approved the sale of Framingham Wine Company Limited to Australia's largest wine and spirits company, Orlando Wyndham, which is par tof the Pernod Ricard drinks group.

In principle agreement for the sale was announced on February 10 this year, however, approval was needed from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Commission.

The Commission advised the parties of its approval on April 2, 2004.

Orlando Wyndham is a subsidiary of international wine and spirits group, Pernod Ricard.  Its key wine brands include Jacob's Creek and Wyndham Estate. It is the first overseas acquisition by Orlando Wyndham, which has sales offices in the north and south islands of New Zealand.

Established in 1991, Framingham produces the premium Marlborough wine brands Framingham and Tylers Stream.

The company operates a modern winery and cellar door sales facility near Renwick in the heart of Marlborough's Wairau Valley. Annual production is around 30,000 nine litre cases.

Premium grapes are sourced from its own vineyards and a select number of contract growers in the Marlborough district.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orlando Wyndham, Laurent Lacassagne, who signed final agreements at the Framingham Winery today, said he was very pleased that the sale process had been completed.

"Now we can begin working with the local management of Framingham to develop its potential locally and overseas," Mr Lacassagne said.