Constellation-AV merger off

08 April, 2010

Constellation and Australian Vintage have ended discussions about a possible merger of their Australian and UK operations without a deal.

The two firms had announced that discussions were taking place five months ago with a view to a deal designed to counter “unprecedented negative operating conditions”.

But after talks broke down today, Constellation president and chief operating officer Robert Sands and Australian Vintage chairman Ian Ferrier released identical statements which said: “There were a number of goals both parties were attempting to accomplish.

“Over time, it became evident that despite both parties’ best efforts we were not going to be successful in accomplishing these goals.

“Therefore, we mutually decided it was in the best interests of [both companies] to discontinue our discussions and focus on our respective businesses.”

Constellation said it would continue to operate its Australian and UK businesses with a focus on increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving cash generation.

Ferrier added: “Australian Vintage is in good shape with its lowest debt level in nine years.

“We will continue to manage the businesses through the cycle and look at all opportunities as conditions improve.”

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