Scales Corporation has confirmed it is in the running to buy the wine giant Villa Maria.
The Australian Financial Review has reported Scales, an apple exporting company, is leading a pack of suitors to buy the winemaker, offering up to $200 million for the company.
Among the other parties rumoured to be interested are French beverage giant Pernod Ricard, Australian wine company Accolade Wines, and US beverage giant Constellation Brands.
The report said it understood that Scales would have to raise capital to fund the acquisition.
In a stock exchange statement Scales said it was competing in the sales process for Villa Maria but there was no certainty that a transaction would be done.
“Scales continues to explore a range of growth opportunities, including acquisitions, and our policy is not to comment on media speculation,” it said.
Last month, reports surfaced that Villa Maria, which is owned by the Fistonich family, had hired the Swiss investment bank UBS to sound out potential buyers or investors looking to take a strategic stake or full control of the company.
A valuation of about $200m was put on the winemaker.