Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bill Sticks A Cork In It

More of NZ has been sold to outsiders.
Should we be concerned?
NBR reports that US billionaire Bill Foley is taking over New Zealand Wine Company after winning virtually unanimous shareholder support. The winemaker's board told shareholders that the company's future was basically down the plug-hole if the proposed merger didn't go ahead. NZWC chairman Alton Jamieson said without a $6 million cash injection it would receive under Mr Foley's proposal, NZWC wouldn't be able to repay an outstanding $5 million debt to ANZ National.
Er...but no pressure!
This fait accompli with Foley Family Wines still needs approval by the Overseas Investment Office.
Foley owns the luxurious Wharekauhau estate in Wairarapa, and will take an 80% stake in the struggling Marlborough-based NZWC - thus adding premium wine brands Grove Mill, Frog Haven and Sanctuary to his list of local wines (incl.Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood).
Billionaire Bill's wealth is estimated by NBR at $1.2 billion.
I'll bet there won't be any xenophobic hysteria made over this deal... unlike the Chinese Crafar Farms purchase. One DARES to speculate: why not?

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