“It wasn’t just their knowledge of the businesses’ strengths and weakness, but their knowledge of the people and understanding of the way we do things that enabled them to identify an opportunity to work well together.”

- Pete Coldwell , Highfield Terravin managing director -

Highfield Terravin

WK’s strong business relationships and ability to recognise a unique opportunity were behind the merger of two Marlborough wine companies in 2015.

WK director Vaughan Harris has worked closely with Highfield since 2009, while co-director Neil Sinclair has had a relationship with Terravin since 2013.

The past few years have been tough for the Marlborough wine industry, Highfield and Terravin included, with both businesses facing quite different challenges.

Vaughan recognised the companies both had a lot going for them despite their issues, and an opportunity for a joint entity.

“We identified a synergy between the two, that provided an opportunity for them work together in a merged operation and achieve something they couldn’t do alone.”

In a few short months WK, working closely with the wineries’ staff, international shareholders and banks, worked through the rather complex merger transaction which was finalised in June last year.

Highfield Terravin managing director Pete Coldwell said he’s enjoyed a good relationship with Vaughan for years.

“Vaughan knew exactly what our strengths and weaknesses were, enabling WK to facilitate a deal to the benefit of both companies.”

“It wasn’t just their knowledge of the businesses’ strengths and weakness, but their knowledge of the people and understanding of the way we do things that enabled them to identify an opportunity to work well together.”

Vaughan says the merger transaction was unique and complex, and one that leaves all parties excited about the future.  

“It enabled us to start afresh, and implement new technology including getting them onto Xero and integrated winery-specific software which enables us to work with them closely and provide in depth forecasting and management reporting in real time.”