11th August 2022

Marlborough Lines seeking strategic partner in Yealands Wine Group to accelerate growth and a zero carbon future for Marlborough.

Marlborough Lines seeking strategic partner in Yealands Wine Group to accelerate growth and a zero carbon future for Marlborough.

Marlborough Lines is seeking a strategic partner for its wholly-owned subsidiary Yealands Wine Group to further pursue opportunities in renewable energy and electrification as part of its ‘Energise Marlborough’ strategy.

A divestment of part of Yealands Wine Group would enable Marlborough Lines to lead the region towards a zero carbon future, promote sustainable regional growth and provide sustainable dividends to local electricity consumers today and in the future.

Marlborough Lines Limited (MLL) announced today that it is looking at potential strategic partners for its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yealands Wine Group, consistent with its strategy of accelerating growth and pursuing renewable energy and electrification opportunities as part of its Energise Marlborough strategy.

The company is seeking potential strategic partners to accelerate growth in offshore markets to maximise the potential of the award-winning Yealands Wine Group (Yealands).

“Yealands has a valuable asset base, which has grown by $100 million since 2015 when we first purchased it. It has excellent growth prospects, with strong management and governance. We would expect any new partner to enhance the business and the interests of the region, maintaining stability and minimising any disruption,” said Phil Robinson, Chair of MLL.

“Due to the significance of the Yealands business within Marlborough, we will be carefully considering diverse stakeholder and community interests. We recognise the importance of supporting the team at Seaview and our grape-grower community to continue to develop the business to maximise value for MLL and the Marlborough region,” he added.

Yealands, based at Seaview in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, is one of New Zealand’s largest independently owned and vertically integrated wine businesses, with over 1,800 hectares of owned land, scale processing assets, strong sustainability credentials and significant export sales. MLL has engaged leading independent New Zealand investment bank Cameron Partners to explore strategic partnerships.

“We are dedicated to securing the right partner on the right terms to deliver value for our stakeholders,” said Phil. He added that if a suitable partner was not found, MLL would continue to actively support Yealands and its team to deliver its robust strategic objectives.

“The energy landscape is rapidly changing. Marlborough Lines has an important role in supporting our region’s transition to a zero-carbon economy. We’re already seeing increasing demands from electric vehicles, ferries, and local industry and significant investment is needed to build the energy capacity and resilience needed to power a sustainable future for the region,” said Tim Cosgrove, Chief Executive at MLL.

MLL has been actively exploring opportunities for renewable energy generation and electrification through its new subsidiary, Energy Marlborough. Energy Marlborough has a project underway to build a solar power plant on under-utilised land at its local depot, with other projects in the pipeline.

“We take pride in our vision of energising Marlborough’s future. We view this as an opportunity to retain and enhance an investment in Yealands while further investing in our core business,” said Tim.

“We plan to play an important role in supporting the transition to a zero-carbon economy. By divesting part of Yealands we can invest more to help build the energy capacity and resilience needed to power a sustainable future for the region,” he added.

MLL is owned by the trustees of the Marlborough Electric Power Trust (MEPT) who hold the shares in the company on behalf of MEPT’s beneficiaries, the electricity consumers of Marlborough.

Ends.

For further information:

Adelle Keely +64 27 517 2804

Marlborough Lines Limited

MLL manages Marlborough’s electricity distribution network, which is located at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It has a team of around 150 people based in Blenheim, the largest town in the Marlborough region. MLL has a group structure that includes Marlborough Lines Limited, Yealands Wine Group Limited, Energy Marlborough Ltd and a 50% share of Nelson Electricity Limited. The company is owned by the trustees of the Marlborough Electric Power Trust.

Yealands Wine Group Limited

Yealands is one of New Zealand’s largest independently owned wine businesses, with over 1,808 hectares of owned land, scale processing assets, strong stainability credentials and significant export sales. Yealands typically produces over 1.6 million cases of wine each year, exported to many countries across the globe.

Cameron Partners Ltd

Cameron Partners is one of New Zealand’s leading independent investment banks and is the alliance partner of global investment bank, Rothschild & Co, which has over 60 offices in 40 countries.

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