Foley Family Wines has secured Overseas Investment Office permission to purchase the Mt Difficulty winery, more than a year after the request was first lodged. Foley CEO Mark Turnbull said that the incoming Labour government took some time to get their heads around the process, which contributed to the delay.
“It was a hard row to hoe but the OIO people were good in that they told where our weaknesses were and we got there in the end,” he said. “While we have a 66 per cent US shareholder in Bill Foley we like to think we're a Kiwi company with Kiwi managers and directors and more than 900 local shareholders.”
Foley Family Wines can now move ahead with expansion plans for the Mt Difficulty property, including the cellar door and restaurant. They are able to employ more workers in pursuit of these aims.
Turnbull expects the purchase to be completed in January 2019. The company will also undertake a period of capital raising, hoping to raise around $20 million.