Analjit Singh, chief of diversified firm Max India, has acquired a stake in South African winery Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines (formerly known as Mullineux Family Wines), for an undisclosed amount.
The Riebeek Kasteel-based winery was started by husband and wife winemaking duo, Andrea and Chris Mullineux, in 2007 together with business partners, Keith Prothero and Peter Dart. It produces wine from the granite and shale based terroirs of the Swartland under two brands Mullineux and Kloof Street.
Prothero’s shares were bought by Leeu International Investments Ltd, an entity associated with Singh. The founders maintain their current ownership and operational control of the winery while Peter Dart remains as a shareholder.
The acquisition of the shares by Singh is part of his plans to diversify internationally.
Analjit Singh said, "We are delighted to join Chris and Andrea in this exciting venture as they bring the passion, quality and focus that is essential to be best in class, which is a prerequisite for anything we are involved in.”
“We are very excited about the new partnership and as dedicated as ever to enforce our minimalist approach to winemaking and focus on expression of the Swartland terroir,” said the co-founders in a joint statement.
“This investment is not only great for the Mullineux brand, but also for the entire Swartland region, the home and head-quarters of our Mullineux and Kloof Street wines,” they added.
For Singh, this is one of the rare investments in consumer products space. The industrialist, whose flagship firm is into a range of businesses including healthcare, insurance, senior living and contract research, is also a private investor in Vodafone’s Indian telecom arm. Bulk of his business interest revolves around the services sector.
This deal marks yet another such transaction where an Indian business group or businessman has invested in an overseas wine firm. In September this year, BK Modi-promoted diversified business group Spice Global invested an undisclosed amount in California-based ONEHOPE Wine, a company that donates half of the profit earned from selling wine.
As a part of this deal, ONEHOPE wine products will be made available in the Indian and Asian markets through Spice Global’s Pangaea Club in Delhi and other hotel bars and restaurants Spice Global has partnered across the globe.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)