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Consolidation the way of the future’ – Yealands, Ager Sectus to merge

The merging of Yealands Estate with Ager Sectus will form one of the largest privately owned wine companies in New Zealand and makes sense in today's economy, say those involved in the deal.

Sustainable winemaker Yealands and wine investment company Ager Sectus, which own more than 1,500 hectares of vineyards combined, will merge operations to produce wine from across New Zealand's major regions.

Yealands owner and chairman Peter Yealands said the merged company would see the separate brands retain their individual identities and existing distribution networks,

"We believe that consolidation is the way of the future. To succeed in current market conditions you need a quality-focused, efficient production model and strong distribution networks."

Ager Sectus founder Peter Cutfield said the two companies had natural synergies.

"Peter Yealands and I have been neighbours for years. The guy is a legend in the industry and we've often had chats over the fence. Over time we found we had more in common than we thought," he said.

"In an increasingly challenging marketplace it makes sense to combine our resources to invest in the development of strong brands.

"We both have expertise and market experience in complementary areas, which will enable the new entity to start from a position of strength."

Yealands said the merger would put the company in a stronger position to take advantage of global distribution opportunities.

"The scope and scale of the new entity will allow us to invest in additional in-market staff who will work alongside our existing distribution networks," he said.

"Having invested heavily in developing strong distribution networks, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the strong growth in demand for quality New Zealand wine. We look forward to contributing significantly to the development of the New Zealand wine category internationally."

The global brands of the combined portfolio will include: 

- Yealands Estate, Peter Yealands, Yealands Way, Full Circle, Pete's Shed, Flaxbourne, Violet

- The Crossings, Crossroads Winery, 3 Stones, Braided River and Southbank Estate

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