Delegat's buys Australia's Barossa Valley for $A24.7m

Expansion comes just two months after snapping up Matariki Wines and Stony Bay Wines.

Delegat's Group has bought the assets of Australia's Barossa Valley Estate out of receivership for $A24.7 million, just two months after snapping up the distressed vineyard and winery assets of Matariki Wines and Stony Bay Wines.

The Auckland-based winemaker, whose stable includes the Oyster Bay brand, will acquire a 5000-tonne winery, a 41ha vineyard in the Barossa Valley, grape grower contracts and inventory and brands, it says in a statement. The deal is expected to settle in June and will be funded through existing bank facilities.

"The acquisition of the assets of Barossa Valley Estate is an ideal fit with the group's portfolio of high-quality wine assets," managing director Jim Delegat says. "These wine styles are complementary to the group's business and provide an opportunity for substantial future sales growth globally."

Barossa Valley's wines include the E&E Black Pepper shiraz, which retails at $A89.99 a bottle for the 2006 and upwards of $A150 a bottle for earlier vintages at the Dan Murphy's liquor chain. It also has moderately priced wines such as the Barossa Valley Estate E Minor at $A12.90 a bottle.

Delegat's has been buying up rival wineries in recent months, purchasing the Hawke's Bay assets for $8.5 million in January and two Marlborough properties through the latter half of last year.

The company lifted first-half profit 31 percent to $19.3 million through the second half of 2012 on flat sales of $129.1 million.

The shares were unchanged at $3.78 and have climbed 28 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'outperform' based on three analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $3.55.

(BusinessDesk)