Carlyle Group ‘looking forward to supporting Accolade’

09 April, 2018 by Andy Young

The Carlyle Group has told TheShout that it is looking forward to supporting Accolade Wines after agreeing a $1bn deal to buy the Australian wine producer.

Accolade was previously owned by Champ Private Equity, who had an 80 per cent stake in the company and Constellation Brands, who owned the other 20 per cent. The $1bn deal sees Carlyle buy 100 per cent of Accolade and a spokesperson told TheShout that Carlyle was happy to have finalised the deal.

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“We are very pleased to have finalised an agreement with Champ to acquire 100 per cent of Accolade Wines,” Carlyle’s spokesperson said.

“This is a company with great brands and strong market positions, with multiple growth opportunities, particularly in Asian markets.

“We look forward to supporting Accolade Wines with Carlyle’s global resources, and investing in the business and working with staff, suppliers and customers to drive growth.”

The Carlyle Group describes itself as a “global alternative asset manager” with $195bn of assets under management across “317 investment vehicles”. Across its corporate private equity and real asset segments, Carlyle has investment in over 200 portfolio companies that employ more than 650,000 people worldwide.

Reports and rumours have circulated around the industry for some time that Champ Private Equity was looking to divest Accolade, with another private equity sale or an IPO being cited as the most likely future for the company.

However, after making significant investment in Accolade’s production facilities, with a new bottling and warehousing facility due to open in Berri, South Australia next year, Champ said that it was pleased with the work it had done in rejuvenating core brands like Hardy’s and that the company was very pleased that Carlyle was in a position to progress with Accolade.

“I know Sir James and Bill Hardy are very pleased with the renewed trajectory that their family’s heritage brand is taking and since Accolade’s acquisition of Grant Burge, sales have increased by more than 80 per cent,” Champ CEO John Haddock said.

“Accolade represents the best of private equity ownership: taking the time to develop a business, investing in multiple areas of the business and orientating the company towards a growth opportunity that has many years ahead of it.

“Champ is proud to have been the custodian of so many widely respected brands, to have contributed to the great Australian wine industry and to have added export value to Australia. We are very pleased that a global firm of such experience and capability as The Carlyle Group will now take Accolade forward.”