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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Allied quits race for wine maker
Australian vineyard
Consumer demand for Australian wines remains strong
Drinks giant Allied Domecq has conceded defeat in its takeover struggle for the Australian company Peter Lehmann Wines.

UK-based Allied pulled out of the race after Peter Lehmann directors backed an identical offer from Swiss rival Hess.

The A$4-a-share offer from Hess values Peter Lehmann, based in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, at about A$149m (US$102m; 62m).

Allied Domecq said it was not in the interests of its shareholders to raise its offer further.

Positive relationship

"While we remain firm believers in the potential of Peter Lehmann Wines under the control of Allied Domecq, we have an obligation to generate value for our own shareholders," Allied's chief executive Philip Bowman said.

Peter Lehmann cited its "positive relationship" with privately-owned Hess for its decision to back the Swiss group's offer.

The wine maker's directors were also unimpressed with Allied's intention to change distribution arrangements.

We have an obligation to generate value for our own shareholders.
Philip Bowman, chief executive of Allied Domecq

Hess made the first approach for Peter Lehmann in August but Allied - whose brands include Beefeater Gin and Tia Maria - tabled a higher offer last month.

With a bid race on, both companies subsequently sweetened their takeover offers.

But Allied failed to win the support of founder and major shareholder Peter Lehmann.

The Australian wine maker's labels include Ambassador, Barossa and Clancy's.


SEE ALSO:
Allied spurned in Aussie wine bid
02 Oct 03  |  Business
Allied bids for Aussie wine maker
22 Sep 03  |  Business
Allied Domecq toasts profits growth
01 Sep 03  |  Business
Merger creates world wine giant
17 Jan 03  |  Business


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