Vasari buys renowned KWV Group

The KWV Group, one of the world’s most renowned brandy and wine brands, is to be sold for R1,15 billion to a leading consumer focused investment group.

Vivian Imerman, a South-African born businessman, will buy KWV’s operational assets through his company, Vasari Group.

KWV’s operational assets include all property, plant and equipment used in the production of wine, brandy and other alcoholic beverages, as well as the shares in and claims against KWV South Africa’s local and foreign subsidiaries and associate companies.

However, excluded from the agreement are KWV’s non-operational assets, including the Laborie Estate, KWV’s art collection and the head office building, La Concorde, in Paarl.

The deal is subject to conditions precedent, including a short confirmatory due diligence, and approval by KWV’s shareholders and the South African Competition Commission.

The agreement is expected to leverage KWV’s world-class manufacturing capabilities to deliver significant growth in Africa’s fast growing consumer market.

Imerman has enjoyed great success in the liquor industry by turning around whisky maker Whyte and Mackay and later selling it at a huge profit. “Our deep operational experience in managing integrated consumer businesses positions Vasari to maximise KWV’s rich heritage as part of our drinks strategy straddling Africa and Asia,” said Imerman.

According to Chris Logan, Fund Manager at Opportune Investments and a longstanding KWV shareholder, KWV’s assets are grossly underutilised.

“Serious competence will be introduced to KWV’s operational assets that have been underperforming for years,” said Logan in an interview with the Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield.

He added that with the expertise being introduced, there would be many more products sold and that it would turn it into a global business.