Fogarty Wine Group and McWilliam’s Wines Expand Alliance
Building upon a ten-year relationship between the two wine families, McWilliam's Wines Group (MWG) have combined their Evans & Tate brands and assets (including the Redbrook cellar door and vineyard located on Caves Road in Margaret River) with the existing production facility and other assets of Margaret River Wine Production Pty Ltd which trades as Margaret River Vintners (MRV) – re-establishing Evans & Tate as a single integrated Western Australian business again.
For their part, Fogarty Wine Group (FWG) merged their Smithbrook and Pemberton Estate vineyards and the Selwyn Viticultural Services business into MRV. The resultant ownership of MRV is FWG 70% and MWG 30%.
FWG, led by Peter Fogarty, is Western Australia's largest wine producer. The Group recorded an output from the 2017 vintage of 6 million litres, up 3% on 2016. Its existing brands include Deep Woods, Millbrook Winery, Smithbrook, and the Hunter Valley vineyard Lake's Folly.
Mr Fogarty said: “I am proud to have two of Margaret River’s finest wine brands in our portfolio. Bringing Deep Woods and the iconic Evans & Tate together is a great outcome for Margaret River, particularly as the region celebrates its 50th anniversary year.”
The acquisition means FWG will double its annual production. The Group’s production will rise to 600,000 cases with more than 400,000 cases under the Evans & Tate brand. Evans & Tate was established in the Swan Valley in 1968 by John Tate and John Evans. It became a publicly listed company in 1999, embarking on a major acquisition and expansion program that ultimately led to it collapsing in 2007.
MWG stepped in and bought the Margaret River Evans and Tate brands, vineyards, wine stocks and cellar door. The deal with FWG will allow MWG to focus on its wine assets in the Eastern States.The expanded relationship will also see FWG and MWG combine their distribution activities with MWG supporting all east coast sales and FWG taking over distribution in Western Australia for all MWG and FWG sales.
Jim Brayne, MWG Chairman and MRV Director, said: “The expanded alliance is a great outcome for both businesses. It is a logical next step for MWG as we consolidate our premium wine brands. The transfer of Evans & Tate will allow MWG to refocus on its east coast assets at a time when the Company embarks upon a major relaunch of its McWilliam’s and Mount Pleasant brands.”
“MWG has taken Evans & Tate to significantly higher volumes since we acquired it in 2007 and, through the expanded alliance with FWG, we expect growth to accelerate. Moreover, we have identified substantial synergies in merging the Evans & Tate and MRV businesses. We also believe the merger will see MRV better positioned to realise the growth opportunities emerging in the wine industry.
“The FWG and MWG management have built a strong relationship over ten years since Peter Fogarty assisted us with the acquisition of Evans & Tate back in 2007. We expect the expanded MRV alliance to flourish.”