By Sacha Delfosse ? editor bars&clubs
Gruppo Campari has announced that it has signed an agreement to fully acquire Fratelli Averna S.p.A, owner of the Italian amaro brand, Averna.
The Fratelli Averna S.p.A portfolio is also home to the Braulio, Limoncetta and Grappa Frattina brands, on top of Averna, which is the second best-selling bitter in Italy. The total purchase price is €103.75 million with the transaction expected to be completed by June 3.
The move is expected to further strengthen Gruppo Campari position in the Italian spirits market, and make the company the leading supplier of premium Italian bitters and liqueurs. Gruppo Campari said the purchase will also create growth potential for the company in various key markets.
?With the acquisition of Averna Group, we continue to strengthen our portfolio of premium offerings and consolidate our position as the leading purveyor of premium Italian liqueur and bitter specialties worldwide. Adding a portfolio of brands with high quality, high margin and strong cash generation capability, this acquisition represents a great opportunity for us to leverage our international route-to-market for profitable growth, in line with our acquisition strategy,? said Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz.
?Other than in Italy, we will increase our critical mass in key Central European markets, particularly in Germany. Moreover, thanks to our strong distribution network in North America, we are very well positioned to benefit from the market?s growth potential, particularly in the US, where mixologists and local consumers are showing growing interest in Italian bitters and liqueurs in the on-premise channel. In this core market, with Averna, we will further enrich our existing offering of Italian specialities, including Campari, Frangelico, Cynar and Aperol.?
By James Atkinson
The relocation of fifth generation Coors family member, David Coors?(pictured) to Australia demonstrates Molson Coors' strong commitment to its new distribution partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil, according to the US company's senior executives.?
David Coors moved to Sydney earlier this month and has become general manager of Molson Coors' Australasian operations.
He was joined last week by his father, Molson Coors chairman Pete Coors, the company's president Kandy Anard and chief commercial officer Brett Vye on a roadshow to meet with some of CCA's Australian customers.
"That shows the commitment of the family, this is truly an important market and an important partnership for us," Anard told TheShout.
Pete Coors said he had been impressed with CCA's execution in the Australian accounts he had visited.
"Both the on-trade and off-trade have been well merchandised, they've done a great job of bringing awareness to the brand," he said.
"But we're not yet everywhere we'd like to be. We need to expand our retail base."
Coors said son David was the ideal candidate for the Australian job, detailing his impressive CV that includes an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Ivy League school Cornell University, an MBA plus a masters in Manufacturing Management and extensive experience both inside the Coors business and outside, in the oil and gas industry.
"I don't let the kids come back to the business straight away," Coors said. [continues below]
L-R: Molson Coors' Pete Coors, Kandy Anard, David Coors and Brett Vye
The chairman acknowledged the Australian beer market has its challenges, which he is confident of overcoming given the positioning of the Coors and Blue Moon brands.
"It's very similar to other highly developed markets - US, Canada, the UK. People seem to be drinking a little less beer. Part of it seems to be this craft beer revolution, where people like drinking craft beer but they don't drink as much volumetrically as they used to," he said.
Still in talks with Woolies: David Coors
The Molson Coors brands have benefited from strong initial distribution through independent and Coles retail outlets, David Coors told TheShout.
"Coles accepted new product in December, which is not something they usually do, so we had instant distribution across all the 1st Choice stores, which was a great way for us to get a bit of awareness," he said.?
"We're still having discussions with Woolworths."
Coors said Australian consumers are receiving the beer very well, with an uplift in sales through certain stores.
"Initially it was retailers saying 'I'll take a couple of cases because I don't know if this will sell'," he said.
"Well their next order is five cases, their next order is 20 cases, so we've seen growth across the country with both brands, Coors and Blue Moon."
In the on-premise, Coors said the brands are in 500-plus venues.
"Without Coors being on draught it's a bit tough in the on-premise, so we're hoping to have that further down the road this year," he said.
"We're strictly trying to get bucket promotions so that people are aware - five Coors for $20."
?By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
A Bondi Junction pub has been listed for sale, continuing a watershed quarter for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
Adjacent to Westfields and Myers in Bondi Junction, the Tea Gardens hotel is considered a prime asset enjoying heritage status and earnings in line with the best in the area.
Ray White Hotels?(RWH) has secured exclusive representation for ALG (Australian Leisure Group) for the landmark hotel, having previously managed assets for the company in New South Wales and Queensland.??
RWH NSW managing director Andrew Jolliffe said the rarity of such a blue-chip listing and its potential in a densely populated foodie district will attract a lot of interest.
"The Tea Gardens enjoys its position in the top echelon of freehold hotels nationally. The annual profit, delivered regularly, puts it firmly in the A-Grade asset class, irrespective of category, which means it enjoys similar status to the Coogee Bay Hotel, the Golden Sheaf in Double Bay, the Newport Arms and Watsons Bay hotels," he said.
Sydney?s Eastern Suburbs has seen a?flurry of pub transactions in recent months, with major operators entering the area for the first time and stalwart properties changing hands for the first time in decades.
Some of the new and sophisticated investment groups that recently have been strategically building portfolios in key areas are likely to be very interested in the Tea Gardens ? particularly given its status and the barriers to competition locally.
"The revenue profile of the Tea Gardens is such that no one revenue stream is dominant, so the blend of trade is exceptional,? Jolliffe said.
"Assets like [this] are iconic for a reason. The number of hotels in the broader area is comparatively low to others, and the sheer volume of people in and around the hotel is the very reason assets of this grade are seldom traded."
The hotel boasts over 800 square metres over two levels, with a balcony, large kitchen and 30 gaming machines. It enjoyed a significant jump to #88 in the latest list of top-performing gaming venues in NSW.?
Jolliffe could not comment on the vendors except to say they are an ?interstate investment group? that has owned the property for the ?typical investment cycle? of seven years.
By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
New Zealand?s Squealing Pig has released its latest vintage Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir with carboNZero certification.?
The internationally recognised carboNZero program was established in 2001 by Landcare Research New Zealand Limited, one of New Zealand's leading Crown Research Institutes, and is based on over a decade of research on climate change, greenhouse gas measurement and carbon monitoring.?
To achieve certification, an organisation must undergo an independent verification to ensure they meet strict international standards that ensure the ongoing credibility of the program and brand.?
The carboNZero program is fast becoming the New Zealand wine company carbon certification of choice, and as other New Zealand wineries move certified brands into export markets the logo will become better known and associated with New Zealand wines.?
The 2013 Squealing Pig Pinot Gris, with an RRP of $21.99, and the 2012 Squealing Pig Pinot Noir (pictured), with an RRP of $25.99, are the first wines from the Squealing Pig portfolio to wear the carboNZero certification on its label and are available in Australian now. ??
By James Atkinson
New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has sensationally resigned this morning after being caught out lying over a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange he allegedly received as a gift.
Australian Water Holdings executive Nick Di Girolamo yesterday told the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that he sent Premier O'Farrell the $3,000 bottle of Grange in 2011 to congratulate him on his election win.
But the Premier later told the inquiry he had no recollection of receiving the wine.
"Proof has not been presented that a bottle of 1959 Grange was ever delivered to my house," the Premier said.
However, ICAC was today presented evidence of a thank you card O'Farrell sent to Di Girolamo thanking him for the "wonderful wine".
"1959 was a good year, even if it is getting further away," the Premier's note read.
Announcing his resignation this morning, O'Farrell said he still couldn't recall receiving the gift.?
"I can?t explain what happened to that bottle of wine. But I do accept that there is a thank you note signed by me and as someone who believes in accountability, in responsibility, I accept the consequences of my actions."
AWH is accused of corruptly using Sydney Water funds for political donations, executive salaries and various other expenses.
By James Atkinson
The Sydney wine trade had the opportunity to taste a widely contrasting line-up of Argentine Malbecs in a recent masterclass to celebrate the fourth annual Malbec World Day.
Curated and hosted by Huon Hooke and with Argentina?s top diplomats in attendance, the masterclass covered 13 Malbecs; two from Patagonia (Argentina?s southernmost wine region), two from Salta (a high altitude region in the north) and nine from Mendoza (the country?s main winemaking province). [continues below]
L-R: Acting Consul General of Argentina Pablo Hartstein, Huon Hooke, Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgado
Hooke likened Argentine Malbec?s newfound status as a global superstar of the wine world to that of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Napa Valley Cabernet out of the US.?
??It?s quite extraordinary that it has achieved its notoriety, fame and success so quickly,? he said.
The Malbecs on taste had vastly ranging LUCs but largely presented good value for their price points, be they lighter, earlier drinking styles (Mi Terruno Uvas Malbec 2012 ? LUC $12.39) or blockbusters with ageing potential of 20 years or more (Rutini Wines Apartado Gran Malbec 2008 ? LUC $110.51). [continues below]
Hooke said Argentine Malbec is often unfairly criticised as ?samey? but there was nothing homogenous about these 13 wines, except that they were consistently of a high standard.
Other standout Malbecs:
Dona Paula Seleccion de Bodega Malbec 2010 ? LUC $30
Rutini Wines Malbec 2011 (pictured) ??LUC $24.62
Trapiche Gran Reserva Finca Las Palmas Malbec 2010 ? LUC $23.65
Trapiche Single Vineyard J Moralles Malbec 2009 ? LUC $75
Malbec World Day takes place tomorrow, April 17.
Billed as one of the smoothest, purest tasting natural artesian waters in the world, New Zealand brand nakd is now available in Australia through distributor OPJ Group.
nakd is bottled directly from one of the world?s deepest and oldest artesian water sources, NZ's Bay of Plenty.
"For the first time ever in Australia, connoisseurs will be able to enjoy nakd water that has been naturally filtered to produce clarity, with a unique blend of rich and revitalising minerals," the company said.
For more information, visit the OPJ website.
By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The risk-based liquor licensing scheme announced by the New South Wales Government amounts to a ?cash grab?, legal expert David Sylvester has told TheShout.
The OLGR on Friday outlined the first steps in a new liquor licensing regime that requires venues to pay annually to renew licences with ?risk-based loadings? dependent on capacity and location if the venue has had licensing offences in the previous calendar year.?
Adding to strong criticism of the scheme from packaged liquor retailers, Sylvester & Browne principal David Sylvester said it is outrageous that a single offence ? which could be as minor as failing to record an incident in the incident book ? would increase the annual fee for the average pub from $500 to $11,500.
?The mere fact that a venue is located within the Sydney CBD precinct should not in my view dictate that they should be treated in the same way that a violent venue or a venue with a poor compliance history is treated,? he said.?
?Notwithstanding that the scheme dictates prescribed offences as those falling under s11 or 144B of the Act, it is arguable that some offences falling under or emanating from these sections are not serious offences at all.?
?What?s going to happen is that all venues will take any penalty or breach notice to court to be independently adjudicated by a magistrate. While a typical ?penalty or breach? ticket is for $1100, it may cost from $5,000 to $10,000 to defend one of these matters in a court hearing, so the operators are hit in the pocket yet again.?
?This is over and above the massive losses venues in the lock-out precinct are already suffering as people find alternatives for going out in those areas.?
AHA NSW director of policing John Green said the additional taxes must be used by the State Government to improve infrastructure for the late night economy including more transport, more policing and better lighting.?
?AHA NSW believes that any business that benefits from late night trading should contribute to the cost of implementing measures that increase safety ? including the many fast food outlets located near hotels and clubs,? he said.
?AHA NSW also notes that one of the triggers for the compliance loading is any breach of a liquor licence condition. Many of these conditions are old and badly worded and need to be reviewed to ensure they are relevant in 2014, otherwise some venues will be unfairly burdened with additional taxes.?
For more information on the new scheme, visit the OLGR website.?
By James Atkinson
The next generation of the Burch family, founders of leading West Australian wine labels including Howard Park and MadFish, has acquired a premium Margaret River vineyard.
Burch Family Wines east coast brand manager Richard Burch told TheShout that he and siblings?David and Natalie (pictured L-R)?have purchased the Broomstick Estate vineyard in Margaret River's south.
"It's got mainly Chardonnay, a bit of Shiraz, a bit of Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc," Burch said.
"We've actually been sourcing fruit from the vineyard for about 14 years, so we're just cementing that. Now we've got a bit more control over the viticulture."
Burch said the trio is still deciding whether to reprise the Broomstick label or launch a new brand identity for the vineyard within the Burch Family Wines stable.
He said fruit from the Broomstick vineyard contributes to Howard Park's top Chardonnays, Icon and the limited edition Ellingham.
Under the management of winemaker Janice McDonald, who joined in late 2010, Burch said Chardonnay has become an increasingly important grape in their portfolio.
"We've noticed her impact on all the wines but especially our Chardonnay. She's adding in a lot more expression and finesse, making the wines a lot more approachable immediately," he said.
"We've got Chardonnay from two regions so we can offer both. We've got Margaret River, which is a very distinctive style, and then Great Southern which is a very mineral, cool climate Chardonnay - a lot leaner and sharper," he said.
Richard Burch is also set to launch Mon Tout, on his own 'natural' wine label - to the displeasure of father Jeff.
"He laughs at me a lot of the time because he thinks natural wine is silly, but occasionally I'll be able to sneak a good natural wine in front of him and he'll begrudgingly admit that it's worth drinking," joked Burch.
"I've got a natural Shiraz from Margaret River and a natural Pinot Gris coming out from Great Southern."
By Sacha Delfosse ? editor bars&clubs
A new two-storey restaurant and bar called Lot 20 is set to open in a heritage building in Perth.
The venue is to be launched by Hand Made Hospitality, a business comprised of four partners with extensive industry experience - Andrew McIntyre, Ben Powell, Gary Beadle and Haigh Nicholson.
The quartet has devised a plan for the new venue that will appeal across a wide range of demographics.
?We want to create a venue that is accessible to everyone. It?s not exclusive to 20 to 25 year-olds, if you?re 50 you can come in. If you were to bring in the missus and the kids it would fit, if you went in with your mates it would fit,? said Beadle.
?If I was in London I?d say it?s a good old fashioned pub? my great granddad had this old pub in the countryside and it would be like one of those.?
The venue will feature a ?full restaurant experience? upstairs with an open kitchen, and patrons will have the option of enjoying their meals on the diner counter or at one of numerous tables with an ?amazing view?.
?Downstairs is more of a casual bar experience and we also have a large outdoor deck at the front of the venue, which meets the footpath,? said Beadle.?
Lot 20 is located in the Perth Culture Centre, a pedestrian-only strip surrounded by Western Australian Museum, State Theatre and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and home to a number of festivals and community events throughout the year.
?There?s not an awful lot in terms of great outdoor spaces for a venue in Perth ? the outdoor space is the big drawcard for this venue,? said Beadle.
??It?s a big space with room for everyone, no one is ever going to feel crowded, and it is going to be very comfortable. The latest we should be open would be June 1st.?