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NEW ZEALAND: NZ's Matua Valley Wines is up for sale

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Matua Valley Wines, one of New Zealand's major wine exporters, is putting up the "For Sale" sign.PriceWaterhouse is managing the sale of a 47.5% stake in the company, currently held by the Margan Family Trust who have been involved with Matua for more than 20 years.Matua Valley is the sixth largest winemaker in New Zealand with one third of its NZ$12m a year sales coming from exports.Wine industry sources believe that Matua is likely to attract attention from high profile bidders including Fosters, Southcorp and BRL Hardy, all of which have signalled their intent to build bigger operations in the Kiwi market.BRL Hardy bought Nobilo Wines earlier this year and Fosters was in the running to buy the DB Group's Corbans wine subsidiary - which was eventually sold to Montana.Matua's remaining shareholding is held by joint managing directors Ross and Bill Spence (who own 47.5%) and chief winemaker Mark Robertson (5%).Bill Spence told just-drinks.com that he would not be selling his stake and said he hoped the buyer would be someone he could work with.The Margan family's decision to sell its stake reflects a growing trend among New Zealand wineries to sell up as they are attracting large offers from overseas companies interested in the market.just-drinks.com revealed two weeks ago that some Kiwi winemakers were getting four or five multi-million dollar offers from overseas agents every month.


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