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AUSTRALIA: Vincorp to sell out to wine rival

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Vincorp, the small, struggling, Australian winery is expected to announce by the end of the week that it has sold its assets to private winery Hope Estate.Negotiations for the sale are in the final stages with two other parties which had expressed interest in Vincorp being excluded from the sale process.Vincorp has been seeking a buyer for more than a year following continuing trading troubles since it listed in early 1998. It lost about $A3m in 1998-1999 and a further $A1m in 1999-2000.Hope Estate, formerly Hill of Hope until it agreed to a name change with CA Henschke & Co, producers of the super premium Hill of Grace Shiraz, is a 2ml winery operating at the former Saxonvale winery site in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney.It was due to settle this week the $1.045m purchase of Vincorp's Western Australian vineyard at Donnybrook.Vincorp's major assets include the premium Virgin Hills label for which it has an agreement with the UK's Virgin Airlines giving it extensive global rights, a 250,000 litre winery and 56ha of vineyards.Chris Snow


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