DB buys into Nelson cider company

NICK KRAUSE
Last updated 13:53 22/06/2012

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DB Breweries has bought a majority shareholding in Nelson cider and fruit wine maker Redwood Cellars.

The Kiwi brewer today announced a new Nelson-based joint venture called Redwood Cider Company would operate as a standalone business incorporating Redwood and DB's cider brands.

These include Redwood's Old Mout Cider and DB's Monteith's Crushed Apple and Pear Cider, Johnny Arrow and imported Swedish label Rekorderlig.

Redwood Cellars was established more than 60 years ago in Redwood Valley between Nelson and Motueka.

Redwood's managing director Justin Hall bought the cider company in 2006 with business partner Scottie Chapman. Hall is the chairman of the Fruit Wine and Cider Makers Association of New Zealand and represents New Zealand at the European Cider and Fruit Wine Association.

He will be a shareholder of the new company and will become managing director of the Redwood Cider Company. The five-person board will be chaired by Brian Blake, managing director of DB.

Both Monteith's and Old Mout Cider brands will  be distributed by Drinkworks in Australia, a DB subsidiary.

''DB has taken a majority position in Redwoods as part of its growth strategy and sees this as not just a joint venture in terms of investment, but also most importantly as a shared belief that cider is a mainstay,'' Blake said in a media statement.

While beer may enjoy mature market status, cider is still emerging and represented an opportunity for further growth and innovation, he said.

The new company will become fully operational on October 1.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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