Administrators looking to recapitalise or sell McWilliams

10 January, 2020 by Andy Young

This week saw McWilliams Wines Group appoint voluntary administrators who are now looking at recapitalising the business, or find a buyer for the group.

KMPG partners Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and Ryan Eagle were appointed this week after McWilliams said a number of factors contributed to the decision and to a decline in business performance.

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Dickerson, Restructuring Services Partner, KPMG Australia said: “We are in the initial phase of the Administration process where our priority is to undertake an immediate assessment of the business and its operations.

“The company will continue to operate as normal and we are working with the McWilliams’ family with the support of its employees while we work hard to try to preserve one of Australia’s oldest winemakers.”

Speaking about plans for McWilliams, Dickerson added: “We are seeking expressions of interest to recapitalise or acquire the Group to take this heritage brand forward in the future both locally and globally.

“There are significant wine assets in the Riverina district and the Hunter Valley, long established distribution channels and relationships with global international distributor brands.”

Jim Brayne, Chairman of McWilliams Wine Group, said the group will now work with the administrators to find a positive outcome for the business.

“We have not made the decision to enter into Voluntary Administration lightly,” Brayne said. “A number of factors have contributed to a decline in business performance, including evolving structural market dynamics and capital constraints.

“We will work closely with the Administrator during the process in order to strengthen the prospects of a positive outcome for all involved.”

The McWilliams portfolio includes McWilliams and Mount Pleasant and the company is also the sole Australian distributor for Champagne Taittinger, Mateus, Henkell and Mionetto.

All customers, growers, suppliers and key stakeholders will be contacted directly and a meeting of the creditors of the company is scheduled for Monday, 20 January.

TheShout has contacted McWilliams for further comment on the voluntary administration move, but the group said at this stage it cannot comment and will leave the matter in the hands of the administrators.