Accolade receives £150m from GE Capital

Hardys and Banrock Station brand owner Accolade Wines is to receive a £150 million financing facility from GE Capital.

GE Capital is a provider of “asset based lending” and the facilities were provided by GE Capital UK and GE Capital Australia.

The deal will support CHAMP Private Equity, an 80% owner of Accolade wines, in its plans to fund growth of the business. Accolade distributes to large retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the UK and also owns 50% of Matthew Clark, one of the UK’s largest wholesalers of alcoholic beverages.

CHAMP purchased 80% of Accolade, formerly Constellation Wines, in January 2011. The transaction saw Accolade acquire the Australian and European business, including its South African brands, wineries, facilities and vineyards.

The financing will “allow Accolade to increase its working capital and capital expenditure as it grows internationally, whilst using GE Capital as its sole ABL partner across the two jurisdictions”.

CHAMP, which has offices in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia and affiliated offices in Singapore and New York, has invested across a broad range of sectors, including media, transport, industrial services, education, retail, agribusiness, health and financial services since 1987.

Adam Johnson, managing director at GE Capital, said: “This deal represents a further milestone in GE Capital’s bespoke cross border transaction activities. Our strong presence in both the UK and Australia enabled us to work closely with CHAMP to provide the ‘one-stop-shop’ support that was needed, without involving multiple financiers.

“We are committed to continuing to expand our unique international offering in this area, helping businesses with the financing solutions they need to grow into export markets.”