RECEIVERS have moved quickly to sell the assets of one of Australia's largest independent wine producers on the market, the Geelong-based Littore Wine group.
The assets include 1070ha of vineyards across five properties and a large modern winery and warehousing and packaging facility.
Littore Wine Group, which has supplied the Coles group for the past nine years, was placed in receivership on October 6.
The company, established by Italian immigrants Mario and Aurora Littore, produces the Jinda-Lee, Idyll and Whispers labels and was only recently recognised by Coles as Outstanding Service Supplier of the year.
Colliers International's Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean have been appointed by receivers and managers from Ferrier Hodgson to sell the portfolio of vineyards near Mildura and the large commercial winery and packaging facilities at Geelong.
Altschwager says Littore Wine Group was a large vertically integrated wine business founded more than 40 years ago by the Littore family.
"The high yielding vineyards have been expertly established and maintained by the Littore family and have produced an average of around 30,000 tonnes over the past four vintages," says Altschwager.
"The largest single vineyard in the portfolio is the impressive Arlington vineyard with plantings of approximately 739ha on 6850ha of land situated near Wentworth NSW."
The Littore winery incorporates tank storage of about 18 litres, a crush capacity of 15,000 tonnes, an extensive warehousing and packaging centre and administrative facilities.
Altschwager says the vineyards and the winery are being offered for sale separately or as a whole.
"Given the huge scale of the offering, and current strong conditions in this sector, we are expecting significant interest from a wide range of buyer groups, both domestic and offshore," he says.
"The market for agricultural assets is improving, and we are receiving strong interest in quality, large-scale properties with substantial water entitlements.
"The Littore portfolio boasts around 7000 mega litres of high security water, which we expect will attract significant interest in its own right.
"This also opens up the possibility that the properties might attract alternate uses, such as the potential conversion to almonds or cotton, which broadens the appeal of what is already one of the most significant wine industry offerings that's come to the market."
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