McWilliam's Wines placed into administration

Griffith's McWilliam's Wines goes into voluntary administration, administrators intend to restructure business

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Riverina winemaker McWilliam's has been placed into voluntary administration. PHOTO: Kenji Sato

Riverina winemaker McWilliam's has been placed into voluntary administration. PHOTO: Kenji Sato

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Business to continue operations as administrators complete assessment.

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Storied Riverina winemakers McWilliam's Wines has been placed into voluntary administration.

KPMG Australia were appointed as administrators on Wednesday and have begun assessing the business and its operations.

"The company will continue to operate as normal and we are working with the McWilliams' family with the support of its employees while we work hard to try to preserve one of Australia's oldest winemakers," KPMG restructuring services partner Gayle Dickerson said.

"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."

In 2019, McWilliam's Wines Group completed a successful recapitalisation in February last year with their strategic partner Margaret River Wine Production.

The $15.8 million recapitalisation was aimed at taking McWilliam's "to the next level".

Riverina winemaker McWilliam's has been placed into voluntary administration. PHOTO: Kenji Sato

Riverina winemaker McWilliam's has been placed into voluntary administration. PHOTO: Kenji Sato

"We have not made the decision to enter into voluntary administration lightly," McWilliam's chairman Jim Brayne said.

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

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

McWilliam's has a long history in the Riverina and their Hanwood Estate vineyard is known for producing award-winning wine.

Samuel McWilliam planted his first grape vines near Corowa in 1877 after emigrating from Northern Ireland.

McWilliam's planted their vines at Hanwood in 1913, before building a winery and completing the first vintage in 1917.

They began exporting wine for the first time in 1935, and the cellar door at Hanwood was opened for the first in 1973.

Customers, growers and suppliers will be contacted by administrators and a creditors meeting is set for January 20.

Stakeholders can contact KPMG's George Choimes by emailing gchoimes@kpmg.com.au

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