Seppeltsfield estates Managing Director Warren Randall recently purchased Kilikanoon’s share of Seppeltsfield and increased his share in Seppeltsfield to more than 90 per cent.
"Since I worked for the Seppelt family in the 1980's as the 'Champagne maker' at Great Western, I have had a deep respect for Seppeltsfield", Warren said.
"As Australia's iconic wine estate, any owner of Seppeltsfield is purely a custodian guiding her through each decade. It is humbling to know however that Seppeltsfield is now under one family's private majority shareholding - the first time since the Seppelt family's era.”
It made sense to all when Kilikanoon chief executive officer and then Seppeltsfield Chair Warrick Duthy, himself a veteran of B Seppelt & Sons with Randall, suggested that Kilikanoon should sell its interest in Seppeltsfield to fund the purchase of strategically critical Kilikanoon operated assets.
Kilikanoon has brought their Leasingham based winery, as well as the adjacent vineyards, and the Shiraz planted Crowhurst vineyard in Greenock from their ‘landlord’ Watervale Private Trust.
“This balance sheet restructure has placed Kilikanoon in an enviable position of owning all critical supply chain assets whilst reducing our gearing to relaxed levels,” Mr Duthy said.
“Previously we rented our winery from a related Trust which also owned much of Kilikanoon’s core vineyard resource.
“With the elimination of rent and reduction in interest expense we have also been able to invest in the working capital necessary to fund our next stage of growth”.
Kilikanoon was recently announced as the 2013 Winery of the Year by James Halliday and will crush their last grape for the 2013 vintage this week in their own winery.