American billionaire Bill Foley’s bid to take over NZX-listed The New Zealand Wine Company has been approved.
The Overseas Investment Office allowed his tilt for up to 90 per cent of the business, which owns Marlborough vineyards and produces wine under the Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood labels.
Under the application approved on August 15 and just released, Foley gets control of 149ha of land deemed sensitive for $48.1 million. He is then able to expand his interests here, which already include the luxurious Wairarapa lodge Wharekauhau.
Via solicitor Cathy Quinn of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, Foley made a case for the wine deal being approved, saying he would create and retain jobs, increase export receipts, add market competition and productivity, make available additional investment for development purposes, increase processing of primary products and offer to gift a riverbed to the Crown. . .
The Xenophobes won’t like this but I think it’s great that a businessman like this wants to invest here.
The Foley family gets the business and some land and New Zealand wince gets better access to distribution in the USA and the promise of more inward investment for development.