Japanese firm ups its stake in Brancott vineyard

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 05:00 11/01/2014

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A Japanese company has been given approval to buy another 12.5 per cent of a Marlborough vineyard.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) this week made public approvals of land purchases in November.

Japanese company Nakashimato Co Ltd paid $450,000 to buy a further 12.5 per cent of the shares of Folium Vineyard Ltd, which owns 8.4262 hectares of land at 221 Brancott Rd.

That transaction values the vineyard company at $3.6 million.

The land was originally sold to Folium Vineyard in March 29, 2011 by Fromm Winery for $2.245m, government records show.

The OIO decision summary says the applicant, Nakashimato, is the majority shareholder of Folium Vineyard Ltd.

It intends to purchase shares from a minority shareholder, which will increase its shareholding from 75 per cent to 87.5 per cent.

"The applicant intends to acquire the shares to continue its support of, and investment in, the company and the business activity it undertakes."

The summary says the overseas investment transaction satisfied the criteria in the Overseas Investment Act and the purchase was approved on November 19.

The "substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand" criteria were satisfied by the creation of jobs and increased export earnings.

In the original sale in March 2011, the decision summary said Japan was the eighth largest market in the world for the export of New Zealand wine, and wine had become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Japan.

"The applicant believes that New Zealand wine can be promoted more successfully in Japan. The applicant intends to ensure that all wine on the vineyard is grown organically which will be a prominent marketing feature in Japan."

Folium Vineyard produces sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, grown organically.

According to the Companies Office, the remaining 12.5 per cent share in Folium Vineyard is owned by Vine Laboratories, a company owned by Takaki Okada, who is Folium's vineyard manager and winemaker.

The company released its first wines in 2011.

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- The Marlborough Express

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