Accolade Wines has confirmed that it is “sounding out potential interest” from buyers for its House of Arras premium sparkling business.
“While Accolade Wines is incredibly proud of the international success of the House of Arras brand in recent years, the company believes it is the right time to consider a divestment of Arras to allow us to focus on other parts of the business with a closer strategic alignment to the rest of our portfolio,” a spokesperson said.
The move follows the company putting its Banrock Station vineyards and the cellar door operations in South Australia’s Riverland region on the market in April as part of a sale and leaseback deal.
“The strategic divestment of some of assets, particularly vineyards and production facilities either outright or through sale-and-leaseback arrangements, is in line with this capital-light model and allows the company to redeploy capital to invest in its brands and growing sales,” the spokesperson said.
House of Arras is world-renowned for its sparkling wines, created by Ed Carr, Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker. House of Arras 2001 Museum Release Blanc de Blancs snared a gold medal and the trophy in the “library vintage” class at Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in November 2022.
The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships are deemed to be the world’s most respected, comprehensive and rigorous sparkling wine competition. It was the first time in the history of the show that French champagne did not win the class.
Accolade Wines was bought by private equity giant The Carlyle Group in 2018 for $1 billion. The company is Australia’s largest wine company by volume.
“In Accolade’s two biggest markets – Australia and the UK – the company continues to gain share across key categories,” the spokesperson said.
“Accolade has also identified opportunities for growth in markets including the US and Asia. A recent example in the US is the successful launch of our partnership between J-Shed wines and NBA All Star and cultural icon James Harden.”
According to the Australian Financial Review, Carlyle is :considering other asset sales as it battles high debt levels and tough times in the broader wine market”.