Viticulture businesses are the lifeblood of Marlborough’s economy. Most owners having committed years of hard work to growing their businesses, and their vines. So when it comes to passing on those businesses to a new owner it’s important to get specialist support.
In this week’s article, we thought we’d catch up with Mike Poff, our viticulture specialist. Marketing viticulture businesses and properties is a little different from marketing other commercial or agricultural properties. So, we asked Mike to explain further.
Q: How does selling viticulture businesses differ to selling other commercial or agricultural businesses? Do vendors and purchasers need to give thought to any special considerations?
A: Vendors and purchasers are dealing with a living asset which needs to be in good condition. Both should consider the age of the vines and the condition of infrastructure in place to support the vineyard. The levels of risk associated with the site are another important factor, such as frost, water, wind, neighbours and temperature.
Q: Is there any pre-sale preparation that vendors should undertake to ensure they achieve the best price for their viticulture business?
A: Well there obviously needs to be an emphasis on presentation and whether the vineyards and buildings are in good, well-managed conditions. But other things to consider are grape supply contracts and gathering together good quality data to ensure the property shines by showing consistent cropping history and quality levels.
Q: Why is specialist agent support important when it comes to marketing viticulture businesses?
A: Vendors can be reassured that by using a specialist agent the person they are dealing with has a significant knowledge of the entire viticulture industry. They’re not just selling a property, they’re selling a business to a specific market. They can rest easy knowing that their potential purchasers questions will be answered knowledgeably. By dealing with someone who knows the market they will attract the right buyers and price for their business.
Q: What methods of sale should be considered when selling viticulture businesses?
An auction may be used but with significant assets like vineyards it may limit the potential customers as they need to be cash buyers. It also excludes any overseas investment. Sales by tender or deadline allow room for negotiation, which is often an important process marketing viticulture businesses.
Is there a particular season or time of year when these properties become more attractive to buyers?
Negotiating a sale prior to Christmas can be beneficial as the forthcoming crop can become part of the purchase negotiations.
Do you have any tips for buyers hoping to secure a viticulture business? Especially first timers.
Spend time with an agent that really knows what they are talking about and who is willing to spend the time to help you understand industry. A good agent should have the connections to help purchasers with management and fruit supply solutions.
If you would like to find out more about buying or selling viticulture businesses, give Mike a call. You can find his details here.