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News Briefs for March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

•Aiming to bolster Accolade Wines’ international business, owner CHAMP Private Equity has secured a US$300 million loan for the wine group. The Australia-based Accolade is looking to use the “cross-border” loan—which is being funded by GE Capital International—to invest in the myriad of markets in which it operates. Accolade, which was formed when CHAMP acquired Constellation’s Australian and European wine businesses in 2011, currently sells its wines in some 80 markets around the globe. Its portfolio includes Australia’s Hardys and Banrock Station, South Africa’s Kumala and California’s Geyser Peak (which it purchased from Ascentia Wine Estates in 2012), among others. Last month, John Ratcliffe, a former executive at both Oddbins and Seagram, became CEO of Accolade, filling the post vacated by the company’s original chief executive, Troy Christensen, in late 2012.

•Argentine boutique winery Bodega Cuarto Dominio, whose portfolio is handled in the U.S. by Terlato Wines, has added fourth-generation vintner Andrés Blanchard to its ownership team. Blanchard joins Cuarto Dominio as a 50% owner, with winery founder Javier Catena Pedro retaining the other 50% of the Mendoza Malbec and Pinot Grigio producer.

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