The hunt for new capital and investors in long established Auckland wine company Villa Maria has started, according to Australian media reports.
The Australian Financial Review reported that the well-known winemaker had hired Swiss investment bank UBS to sound out other wine companies and investment funds about taking a strategic stake or full control.
A valuation of around $200 million has been put on the winemaker, which is controlled by industry veterans, the Fistonich family.
Last year Villa Maria moved to sell surplus 31 hectares of vineyards and bare land around its Mangare headquarters in south Auckland.
It said it would keep its offices, winery, bottling and warehouse facilities situated there but sell the rest to fund its expansion plans.
It also signalled it would look for new investors to raise extra finance for its future, which included wider product offering and sales. Last year, it entered the increasingly strong ready-to-drink market with a wine seltzer.
The company, whose brands include the Villa Maria, Vidal, and Esk Valley, said it expected decisions to be made early this year.