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UPDATED: Yealands Wine hires UBS for capital raising advice

Yealands Wine Group, New Zealand's sixth-largest wine exporter, has hired investment bank UBS to advise on capital-raising options, including an initial public offering to expand its vineyard assets and grape supply.

The company, which is majority owned by founder Peter Yealands, didn't give a capital raising target. Yealands Wine was created in 2011 through the merger of Yealands Estate Wines and Ager Sectus Wine Estates. It has1,200 hectares of vines and exports more than 1 million cases a year.

"We see significant opportunities for New Zealand wine internationally and for YWG and we want to take advantage of these growth options," Yealands said in a statement. "To do this we need to increase our vineyard holdings and grow our grape supply. That is going to require fresh capital. The strategic review will help us identify the capital requirements and optimal expansion approach, which could take the form of an IPO or other growth options."

The company is primarily looking to expand in sauvignon blanc in Marlborough, although the strategic review "will be wide-ranging" it said in emailed answers to questions.

"This is about realising an opportunity that will not be here in five years time, as wine-growing land in Marlborough is rapidly shrinking," it said. The strategic review will look at both existing vineyards and greenfield opportunities in Marlborough.

The company wouldn't comment on how much capital it may raise, saying it would have a better idea once the review was concluded.

Yealands' NZ Wine Investments owns about 75 percent of Yealands Wine.