Villa Maria finds buyer

New Zealand grower remains in local hands.

Villa Maria will be part of Indevin in the future
Villa Maria will be part of Indevin in the future

The settlement of New Zealand's insolvent FFWL Ltd is moving forward. The liquidators of the holding company behind Villa Maria Estates have reached a purchase agreement with Indevin. Indevin wants to take over 100 percent of Villa Maria on 31 August. The purchase includes wineries and vineyards in Marlborough, Hawke's Bay and Auckland, as well as the brands Villa Maria, Esk Valley and Vidal.

Indevin Chairman Greg Tomlinson comments in a joint press release: "Our business is all about producing quality wines, creating authentic brands and adding value to New Zealand wine in international markets. Adding Villa Maria to our portfolio fits into our long-term growth strategy and supports our existing business." 

Established in Marlborough in 2003, Indevin now processes grapes from more than 3,000 hectares of vines in Marlborough, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne and works internationally with partners including Gallo, Tesco and Waitrose.

No details about the purchase price are known. FFWL's debts are mainly owed to Rabobank and amount to NZ$212 million (approx. €124 million). Administrators have also prepared an agreement for the sale of 34 hectares of land in the immediate vicinity of the Auckland winery and thus close to Auckland International Airport with an investment fund, which is expected to be finalised later this year.

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