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Hardy’s wine owner Accolade Wines sold to Carlyle Group for AU$1bn

Behind wine brands such as Hardy’s and Petaluma, Accolade is the biggest wine producer in Australia.

Private equity firm The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy Australian Vintner Accolade Wines in a deal worth AUD$1bn.

Behind wine brands such as Hardy’s and Petaluma, Accolade is the biggest wine producer in Australia.

Through the deal, the Carlyle Group is buying 80% of operation from another private equity firm, Champ Private Equity. 

The remainder of the shares will be bought from Constellation Brands, the Fortune 500 company behind brands such as Corona and Grupo Modelo. 

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The deal comes as Australian wine exports hit record highs in both value and volume in 2017, according to a recent report by Wine Australia. 

The soaring demand for Australian wine has been fuelled by mushrooming demand from China, says the report. 

Accolade Wines gains around two-thirds of its earning from wine sales outside of Australia, with its brand Hardy’s performing particularly well in foreign markets. 

The Australian firm has been building up its premium wine portfolio in recent years. For instance, in 2017, Accolade Wines said that it would acquire Lion Australia’s premium wine business, Fine Wine Partners (FWP).

“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,” said John Haddock, CEO of Champ.

“We are very pleased that a global firm of such experience and capability as The Carlyle Group will now take Accolade forward."