Creditors to vote on McWilliam’s private equity deal

22 July, 2020 by Andy Young

Creditors of McWilliam’s Wines Group will vote tomorrow on a $50m deal from private equity firm Prcstnt Asset Management to buy the company.

McWilliam’s went into voluntary administration in January, when Chairman Jim Brayne said “evolving structural market dynamics and capital constraints” were among a number of factors which had “contributed to a decline in business performance”.

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KMPG partners Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and Ryan Eagle were appointed in January to undertake an immediate assessment of the business and its operations.

Dickerson said at the time: “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.

“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.”

In February KPMG appointed Colliers International to sell the business and assets of McWilliam’s Wines Group by an expressions of interest campaign.

Colliers International’s Tim Altschwager said the sale represented a unique opportunity to acquire an iconic, 142-year-old, privately-owned Australian family business as well as a large amount of stock and significant property.

“We anticipate wide-ranging interest from major wine industry participants, private equity investors, high net worth individuals and buyers looking for restructure opportunities,” he said in February.

The KPMG team have recommended creditors vote in favour of deal, with estimates it will see unsecured creditors paid 94 cents to 100 cents in the dollar.

The Prcstnt deal is worth around $46m, made up of $30m for the business and $16m for wines in stock. Back in February, Colliers described McWilliam’s as “a Top 10 Australian wine producer by revenue, generating circa. 1.3m 9LE volume and $97m gross sales per annum, with operational capacity to crush up to 43,000 tonnes annually”.