Since buying the Mill Retail Holdings network for $NZ18.2 million ($AUD 16.2 million) in 2013, Papakura based Independent has transformed it from a discount liquor group to a mainstream retailer, the company said.
Independent, owned by Japan’s Asahi Group, has put the Mill business on the market to focus on its branded beverages, such as Boundary Road beer and pre mixes, including Woodstock Bourbon and Vodka Cruisers.
“While no decision regarding a sale of The Mill has been made at this point, discussions are under way and Independent Liquor has received keen interest from a number of potential buyers,” said Asahi’s Scott Hadley.
Independent wrote down the value of The Mill’s goodwill by $NZ6.2 million ($AUD 5.5 million), and its brands by $NZ2 million ($AUD 1.7 million) in the 2014 financial year. It has assets worth $NZ15.1 million ($AUD 13.4 million) and liabilities of $NZ9.2 million ($AUD 8.1 million) according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office.
The statements say Independent’s management decided to sell the unit in December last year, with a sale expected by September.
The liquor group’s, Boundary Road, brand claims 11 per cent of pack beer sales, while its suite of ready to drink beverages hold 60 per cent of that market, according to Independent’s website.
Independent reported a loss of $NZ52.6 million ($AUD 46.8) in calendar 2014, widening from a loss of $NZ41.6 million ($AUD 37 million) a year earlier