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HwCg gathers Neqtar

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new global drinks company headed up by the HwCg team was launched this week, aiming to supply and market fruit and vegetable juices as well as wine.
The company has been formed as a result of HwCg acquiring SDS, the Australian-based wine and juice producer, late last year.

HwCg's managing director Guy Young (right) has been named chief executive of the new company (of which HwCg will be the wine arm), with HwCg's commercial director, Jim Furze, taking up the role of chief operating officer. David Stevenson, who is a partner in the business, will run the Australian operation.

Neqtar came about because we were very keen to expand the share of our sales made up by Australian wine, which used to be something like 3% rather than reflecting the overall market share of 23%,' said Young. We had three choices: find a good agency to take on; form a joint venture; or buy a producing company. When the opportunity to buy SDS - which owns a winery, Roberts Estate, as well as a juice business, Irymple Group - arose, we decided to go for it.' The combined group had worldwide sales of $50 million last year.

We are not going to start selling juice through HwCG,' added Young. The main part of the business is actually selling carrot juices and concentrates to the Japanese and US markets. We are looking at moving into the UK and have commissioned a report, but that will not be done through the existing HwCG business.'

Young said that owning a winery in Australia now allowed HwCg to control every part of the process, right through from the vine to the UK shelf. It's a big departure for us, and we are looking to launch some new brands later in 2006.'

He added that Neqtar will be looking to make further acquisitions.