Kendall-Jackson, the US premium wine producer at the centre of much of the last month's consolidation speculation, announced its five-year strategy yesterday, which includes plans to become the world's leading quality wine business.

Although currently the largest premium wine producer in the US, international sales only account for some 3% of Kendall-Jackson's sales. It plans to increase the international share of sales volumes to 30% by 2005, which will incorporate some 2.8m cases, up from an estimated total in 2001 of 388,000.

Despite ambitious plans for organic growth, president of Kendall-Jackson International Wine Estates David Fredrickson did not rule out the possibility of acquisitions to reach this goal, or indeed the chances the company would be bought out itself.

He said: "Four to 5% growth is OK, but companies want 30% growth so what do you do. We know there will be more consolidation."

Fredrickson continued: "We are talking to other people and if the correct suitor or partner comes along, then who knows. We have longterm brands but have to be opportunistic, if something comes along then we will look at it. We are not going to grow to 6m cases by using only what we have."

Fredrickson went on to confirm that Southcorp, the Australian wine giant, had met with Kendall-Jackson on its recent visit to California. He said that something like the recent Beringer/Foster's deal might come along in the future for Kendall-Jackson.

"The US is a very attractive proposition for Australian companies," he added.

Fredrickson went on to say that he thought that apart from Beringer, Kendall-Jackson was the only other US wine business capable of being truly global.

In the meantime the company is investing $35 million between 2000 and 2002, including 9m in the UK and Ireland alone, to achieve its sales goals.

Mirroring what Lew Platt, the company's CEO, said earlier this year, Fredrickson said that Kendall-Jackson wanted to be "the world's first truly global wine brand".

Plans include an increase in global sales staff from the present number of five to 124 by 2005, including 38 in the UK and Ireland, 19 in Continental Europe, 11 in Japan and 10 in the rest of Asia.