Villa Maria finds buyer after nine-month search

02 August, 2021

Marlborough-based wine producer Indevin has signed a conditional agreement to buy Villa Maria from parent company FFWL.

Bankers at Robobank and ANZ placed FFWL into receivership in May. They are owed around NZ$210 million, and they have been seeking a buyer for Villa Maria for the past nine months.

Receivers Brendon Gibson and Neale Jackson of Calibre Partners have announced a conditional agreement for the sale of 100% of the shares in Villa Maria Estate

Indevin chairman Greg Tomlinson said Villa Maria is a perfect fit for the business, which is committed to showcasing New Zealand wines to consumers all over the world.

“Our whole business is building around holding and building value for New Zealand vineyards and growers,” he added. “If the conditions of the sale are satisfied, we plan to drive focus and increased investment behind Villa Maria to further enhance its reputation for quality and protect its brand value. This will be an important next step in the story of the brand.”

Villa Maria board chairman Malcolm McDougall​ said it was “reassuring” the new owner would be another Kiwi company, with a strong supply chain and established export markets.

“There is genuine compatibility between the businesses,” said McDougall. “Indevin is a successful operator, it brings a strong supply chain and has established key export markets with contracted long-term partnerships.

“Meanwhile Villa Maria brings a legacy and strong brands that command a premium. Together, that’s a powerful combination.”

If the sale is finalised, it will include wineries in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, vineyards, supplier agreements, and the brands Villa Maria, Esk Valley, Vidal and Leftfield.

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