Pernod Ricard has engaged Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan to conduct a strategic review of its Australia and New Zealand business.
According to the Australian Financial Review, the review is “expected to lead to a change of control before the end of the year” with sources saying “sale flyers are slated to hit inboxes in late October”.
Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ portfolio in Australia includes Jacob’s Creek and St Hugo. It also owns Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh in New Zealand. The wine business for Pernod Ricard accounts for about 4% of company sales, with the rest coming from spirits brands including Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal Scotch and Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Jacob’s Creek is seen as the jewel in the crown of the sale. According to Pernod Ricard more than one million glasses of Jacob’s Creek wine are enjoyed each day around the world
“Pernod Ricard regularly assesses and evaluates its strategic opportunities and is continuously exploring options, including divestments or the streamlining of some or part of individual business units,” the company said in a statement.
“This is a usual process in line with management’s mission of delivering value to shareholders, employees, clients and stakeholders. Pernod Ricard nonetheless highlights that, at this stage, no decision has been made regarding any particular action.”
It is the second time a sale of Pernod Ricard’s wine business has been mooted. In 2019 the wine labels were shopped around with a rumoured $1 billion price tag and generated significant interest but failed to change hands.
Pernod Ricard is not alone in reassessing its wine assets. Australian Vintage is also conducting a strategic review of its $100 million business, while Accolade recently sold its House of Arras sparkling wines brand and vineyards to Handpicked Wines for an undisclosed price.