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13/11/2014

Casella to acquire 100% share in Peter Lehmann Wines

The board of Peter Lehmann Wines today advised shareholders it has received a proposal from Casella Family Brands to acquire 100 per cent of the company’s shares for an offer of $1.50 per share.

Receipt of the proposal follows a period of confirmatory due diligence agreed to by the company to facilitate the submission of an offer by Casella for the consideration of all shareholders.

The Peter Lehmann board has been advised it is the current intention of the company’s majority shareholder The Hess Group Australia Pty Ltd and substantial shareholder Margaret Lehmann to accept Casella’s offer in respect of their shareholdings in the company.

Hess Group and Margaret control more than 95 per cent of the company’s shares.

Commenting on the offer, Christoph Ehrbar, Peter Lehmann Wines chairman said “the board has evaluated the proposal by Casella Family Brands to acquire Peter Lehmann Wines and is confident that John Casella and his team will be fine custodians of Peter Lehmann’s legacy”.

“Casella Family Brands is an Australian family-owned wine success story with the vision and expertise to continue the development of this important South Australian wine business.”

John Casella, managing director of Casella Family Brands said “the proposed acquisition of Peter Lehmann Wines by Casella Family Brands plays an integral part in building a family of quality brands across a range of price segments”.

“We have a clearly defined strategy to extend our Casella brand portfolio to include an incredible range of premium wines that highlight the enormous diversity of the Barossa and its sub-regions.

“With our strong global footprint we are excited by the prospects and opportunities ahead for the business.”

Margaret Lehmann also commented, saying she intends to accept Casella’s offer for her shares in the company.

“John Casella is himself a winemaker and shares the values that led to the creation of the company,” she said.

“I believe Peter Lehmann Wines will continue to flourish because the patient capital of private ownership is better suited to the cyclical nature of the wine industry.”

The proposed offer from Casella is subject to limited conditions:

  • 90 per cent minimum acceptance; and
  • standard defeating conditions.

Casella has lodged its Bidder’s Statement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and will be mailed to Peter Lehmann Wines shareholders with instructions on how to accept the offer.

Upon receiving acceptances for more than 90 per cent of the outstanding shares in the company, Casella intends to declare the offer unconditional and proceed with compulsory acquisition of any remaining shareholdings that are not accepted into the offer.


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