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Great Eastern Wine Week, 9-18 September 2022

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Global investment giant puts its trust in Australian wine

Global Investment giant BlackRock has bought more than $250 million worth of shares in Australia’s largest wine company in recent weeks.

Treasury Wine Estates, which includes Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Seppelt and Rosemount Estate in its portfolio announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning that BlackRock had increased its stake in the company to 8.32%.

Those shares are valued at more than $1 billion Australian dollars. This followed a buy up of 7.3 million TWE shares by BlackRock in December, taking its stake from 6.21% to 7.22%.

US-based BlackRock is the world’s largest investment manager and manages about $7 trillion for its investors around the globe.

It initially purchased almost 38 million TWE shares – 5.14% of the company – in March 2017 when the share price was a little over $12 before increasing its holdings to 6.21% in April 2019.

TWE’s share price has rallied in recent weeks from $16.13 on January 3 to $17.47 this morning but is still down on its six-month high of $19.17 on September 20 last year.

The BlackRock investment announcement follows news that it would shift its focus towards sustainability-focused companies in 2020.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said his firm would make a series of moves to place sustainability at the centre of its sustainability approach.

The bulk of Treasury Wine Estates’ premium Australian brands produce wine in South Australia.
TWE announced a $419.5 million profit for the financial year to June 2019, up 16% on the previous year.

The company also announced in August it would spend up to $215 million at its Wolf Blass Bilyara winery in the Barossa Valley over the next 24 months to expand production, processing and storage infrastructure.

The investment is part of TWE’s “premiumisation strategy”, which also includes buying production and vineyard assets in the Bordeaux region of France.

Australian wine exports for the 12 months to June 2019 increased by 4% in value to $2.86 billion over the 12 months, driven by exports to China and a return to growth in the United States.


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