Gilbert + Tobin advises funds managed by CHAMP Private Equity on the $1 billion sale of Accolade Wines to The Carlyle Group.

Accolade is the largest producer of Australian wine and the fifth largest wine company in the world. It can trace its wine-making history back to 1853, and remains the owner of an historic portfolio of brands including Hardys, Grant Burge and Houghton. Accolade Wines delivers over 35 million cases to more than 140 countries each year.

The deal sees Carlyle acquire both CHAMP's 80 per cent stake in Accolade and the 20 per cent minority interest held by US liquor company Constellation Brands, Inc.

G+T’s market-leading M&A team worked closely with CHAMP, general counsel, Jeremy Stevenson and Accolade’s general counsel, Julie Ryan, across all legal aspects of the transaction, including coordinating diligence across the UK, Europe, Asia, NZ and both North and South America and negotiating transaction documents relating to Australia, UK and NZ.

Commenting on the deal, partner Peter Cook said, “The transaction represents an excellent outcome for CHAMP, which has held Accolade since 2011, and a strong opportunity for Carlyle to continue Accolade’s growth trajectory, including its expansion into China. We were delighted to be able to assist CHAMP on negotiating such a complex transaction over multiple jurisdictions.”

G+T also advised CHAMP on its original investment in Accolade Wines in 2011.

The G+T team was led by partners Peter Cook, Rachael Bassil and senior lawyer Alastair Corrigall and supported by lawyers Elizabeth Cameron, Anna de Navi, Jill Nyhof and Alexandra Meade.

Gilbert + Tobin has advised on many of Australia’s largest and most innovative recent private equity transactions, including TPG’s acquisition of Novotech, Quadrant Private Equity’s $1 billion sale of the Real Pet Food Company, Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group’s $1.23 billion acquisition of iNova Pharmaceuticals and KKR’s acquisition of Laser Clinics Australia.

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