McWilliam’s Wines sale falls over

Private equity firm Prcstnt Asset Management has walked away from its acquisition of McWilliam’s Wines at the eleventh hour, administrator KPMG has confirmed.

Prcstnt had until November 30, 2020 to complete its acquisition of McWilliam’s under a Deed of Company Arrangement voted up by creditors on July 24.

However, this “sunset date” passed without Prcstnt meeting its obligations set out in the DOCA.


A KPMG spokesperson today confirmed to Drinks Adventures that McWilliam’s Wines will be put back on the market by Colliers International, ten months after the agent began the original sale campaign.

Prcstnt chairman Charles Hunting could not be contacted for comment.

McWilliam’s Wines Documentary

The 143-year history and ultimate downfall of McWilliam’s Wines was chronicled this year in a special documentary episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, released in August.

“Our international market really fell away, and when we were geared up to the eyeballs with debt, cash flow became a struggle,” sixth generation family member Scott McWilliam told the podcast.

“McWilliam’s has always made very high quality, value for money driven product.

“In fact, that could have been our undoing; that we were putting very good quality wine into a cheap price point.

“Our margin was eroded to the point where it was, ‘once you’re down, you can’t get back up’.

“Whilst we’re really improving with our packaging and our market presence… we still have a younger generation who don’t want to drink what their parents drink, or their grandparents, for that matter.

“We always will have the stigma in many people’s minds of being, ‘McWilliam’s: The Cream Sherry Maker’.”

The podcast features interviews with the McWilliam family, Australia’s First Families of Wine members Stephen Henschke and Bruce Tyrrell, and wine writers Jeni Port and Max Allen.

You can listen to the documentary here, or in the media player below.

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