CASELLA Wines managing director John Casella has ruled out an equity raising or sharemarket listing as a way to reduce the Yellow Tail winemaker's debt burden and gain breathing room with its banks.
Casella plunged to its first loss in 20 years as it battles a strong Australian dollar. Mr Casella said volumes in the US were down just 0.2 per cent in the past 12 months.
Casella, Australia's biggest wine exporter, breached banking covenants during the 2012 financial year but National Australia Bank gave the group a reprieve until January 30.
Casella has total liabilities of $191 million, with borrowings of $138.4 million at June 30, 2012.
Mr Casella said he was not interested in bringing in an equity partner or listing the company.
"You might need to if you are really in distress," he said. At this stage everything is going well .?.?. We are not the only ones [hurt by the currency]."
Accounts lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show Nufarm chief Doug Rathbone's Rathbone Wine Group sank to a $13.1 million loss in 2012. The accounts do not include his entire winery portfolio but give some insight into trading conditions.
Mr Rathbone and his family own Yering Station, Xanadu and Mount Langi Ghiran and recently sold Parker Coonawarra Estate. He put his wineries on the market a year ago.
A shock to Nufarm's profit decimated the group's share price in 2010 and forced the suspension of dividend payments, which resumed last year.
Mr Rathbone's Nufarm shares form part of the wine group's assets. He owns about 4 per cent of Nufarm. However, the company agreed to sell Parker Coonawarra for an estimated $6 million to $7 million last month.
Mr Rathbone told The Australian Financial Review in January that he intended to remain in the wine business. The sale of Parker and better trading conditions at Nufarm had improved the outlook for the group.