AUSTRALIA’S ACCOLADE IN CHINA VISIT SEEKING TO EXPAND EXPORTS
By Tony Zhu
Australia’s leading producer Accolade Wines and its new owner American private equity firm Carlyle Group have visited China seeking to expand wine exports to the biggest market for Australian wines, Chinese media reported.
Led by Accolade Chairman Ari Mervis and Carlyle Group Managing Director David Bluff, the delegation was reported to have met with senior managements of Chinese wine distributors and retailers.
The high-profile visit, which takes place from 10 to 12 December, shows that Accolade is at full strength trying to shift their export focus from the UK to China.
Accolade is the biggest wine company by volume in both Australia and the UK, it owns popular brands like Hardys, Echo Falls, Banrock Station and Kumala.
The company was acquired by US private equity firm Carlyle Group last year for AUD1bn (USD689m). Carlyle said it was keen to tap into Accolade’s growth opportunities in Asia and China.
Chinese media quoted Mr Mervis as saying during the visit that the rise of Chinese middle class will bring about diversification and sophistication, he believed time is right for Accolade to focus on China.
Mr Bluff was reported to have highlighted the zero tariff enjoyed by Australian wine imports in China and believed their wines are very competitive in the Chinese market.
Since acquisition by Carlyle Group last year, Accolade has forged co-operation with Chinese companies including JD.com, Poly Wines and Dah Chong Hong.
Accolade brands are now available in major Chinese supermarket chains including Vanguard, Balian and Metro.
(the writer can be contacted at: email@example.com)
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