A century-old supplier and installer of equipment for winemakers has been placed in voluntary administration as a result of an ongoing downturn in the wine market, with demand continuing to fall.
BRI Ferrier partner Nick Cooper was appointed to the South Australia-based JB Macmahon after the company continued to suffer under poor market conditions.
“The company has been affected by the general downturn in the wine industry,” Cooper told SmartCompany this morning. “White wine sales are slow, and winemakers are not spending capital as they have in the past.”
“The business is still there and continues to trade, fulfilling orders, but the demand has just continued to slow.”
Cooper could not reveal the company’s revenue, although said debt was minimal. SmartCompany contacted JB Macmahon chief executive Marco Guglielmucci this morning, but he was unavailable to comment prior to publication.
Cooper said the company is now being put up for sale, and also mentioned that because the business acted so quickly to enter administration there may be more assets than liabilities.
In an advertisement, the business is said to contain bottling and packaging equipment, along with processing and spare parts supplies, while it also holds a substantial spare parts stock in excess of 65,000 pieces and an “extensive national client base”.
Cooper said the business itself is solid, despite the ongoing troubles in the industry.
Wine sellers and wineries have been facing a tough market. Over the past several years there has been a substantial increase in grape harvests, reducing prices and margins. The general downturn in consumer confidence has also resulted in fewer wine sales.
While wineries have been a favourite hobby of the wealthy, it has become less lucrative as a business. According to a report in the Australian Financial Review last week, rich lister Doug Rathbone has put his wine group up for sale after poor financial performances.