Villa Maria Estate, a pioneer and icon in the New Zealand wine industry, is selling 31 hectares of surplus land surrounding its Mangere, Auckland headquarters and is exploring raising capital to accelerate its global growth strategy and ambitions.
Villa Maria is New Zealand’s most awarded wine company with the vision to be one of the world’s great wine companies and, as part of its global growth strategy, plans to invest across the value chain from viticulture and wineries to brands and marketing to meet increasing demands in key markets. To accelerate these plans, Villa Maria is selling surplus land and is looking to raise additional capital.
“We’ve been making changes to our business consistent with our vision to be one of the world’s great wine companies and carry on the legacy of our founder, Sir George Fistonich,” said Justin Liddell, Chief Executive Officer of Villa Maria Estate.
“I’m really proud of the team who has achieved sound results despite the challenges of COVID. We’ve restructured and refreshed our business, optimised and refined our brand and marketing portfolios and redefined our hospitality offering to enhance our consumer experience. We have laid the foundations for our future success and this is the next phase in our growth strategy.”
“The Villa Maria site in Mangere, Auckland has a special place in the history of Villa Maria. Sir George foresaw the enormous potential of the land when the current site was acquired in 2000. Today, the land value has increased to a point where it’s not possible to generate a reasonable return on these vineyards. We’re exploring selling 31 hectares of vineyard and bare land surrounding our headquarters at Mangere. We will continue to operate our Auckland winery, bottling, warehousing, head office and hospitality functions on the remaining 10 hectares,” said Liddell.
“We’re also exploring raising capital from interested parties who want to support our growth plans. It’s early days and we don’t want to speculate on who a new investor might be or the nature or extent of the investment. We will work through the options and go from there. We don’t expect any decisions to be made until the first quarter of next year and our day-to-day activities will go on as usual,” he added.
Villa Maria is the leading New Zealand wine brand in the United Kingdom market by volume and value and believes that there is untapped potential for the brand in the North American market and Asia.
“We’re really focused on continuing to share the best of New Zealand wine with the world and building genuine relationships while also using data and insights to deliver on consumer and market trends. Enhancing our sustainability credentials and organic product portfolio amongst other initiatives, will help us tap into growing global demand,” he added.
“Our multi-brand portfolio including Villa Maria, Esk Valley, Leftfield, Vidal and Thornbury serves a range of customer segments at varying price points from affordable right through to ultra-premium. Innovation and diversification of products, like the recently announced LF Seltzer is getting a positive response too,” he added.
“We were recently awarded a record 39 gold medals across the group portfolio at the New Zealand International Wine Show, Hawkes Bay Wine Awards and Marlborough Wine Awards. Our heritage and our unwavering focus on quality is the foundation of all we do and crafting exceptional wines without compromise is our ultimate promise to consumers around the world.”