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Iconic Australian winery goes into administration

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Australia’s sixth-largest wine company has gone into administration after significant financial struggles.

Australia's sixth-largest wine company has gone into administration after significant financial struggles.

McWilliam's Wines, which has been in its founding family's hands for 141 years, has revealed it has appointed voluntary administrators KPMG to navigates the company's uncertain future.

The company's range includes the McWilliam's and Mount Pleasant wine brands, and it is also the sole Australian distributor for renowned global brands such as Champagne Taittinger, Mateus, Henkell and Mionetto.

The brand was founded in 1877 and has since become one of the major players in shaping Australia's wine industry.

Despite its reputation and long-standing history, Australia's struggling retail economy, which has seen a number of high-profile companies close down, has created difficulty for the company.

The Financial Review last year reported the company's sales revenue for 2017-18 had dropped 13 per cent after a period of heavy losses.

Gayle Dickerson said in a statement the goal is still to "preserve one of Australia's oldest winemakers".

"We are in the initial phase of the administration process where our priority is to undertake an immediate assessment of the business and its operations," she said.

"The company will continue to operate as normal, and we are working with the McWilliams' family with the support of its employees.

"We are seeking expressions of interest to recapitalise or acquire the group to take this heritage brand forward in the future both locally and globally. There are significant wine assets in the Riverina district and the Hunter Valley, long established distribution channels and relationships with global international distributor brands."

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McWilliam's Wine Group chairman Jim Brayne said the decision to enter into voluntary administration was a difficult one.

"A number of factors have contributed to a decline in business performance, including evolving structural market dynamics and capital constraints," he said.

"We will work closely with the administrator during the process in order to strengthen the prospects of a positive outcome for all involved."

A meeting of the company's creditors is scheduled for Monday, January 20.

Source: 9News

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