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Australia,Wine,Wine Business

When wine becomes a bitch… Treasury, I feel for you…

I just read the headline: Law firm launches shareholder class action against Treasury Wine Estates

I had to chuckle to myself. Here I sit in the wine business. Treasury Wine Estates is doing everything right, in my humble estimation… Staying engaged in their wine company’s advancements and participation in the industry. As the exec director of a wine advocacy group, I get to see it all from the inside. For example… there’s one guy, when I hear that he’s bought another brand, I think, “Oh, crap… we helped to build the brand and the first thing he’s going to do is pull the plug on membership.” And, he does. Not only that, but he fires everyone within the new company he’s bought… leaving one person to manage the mess he’s leaving behind, assigning winemaking to a singular department for all brands, and he’s off and running… Homogenizing as he goes along.

Sigh…

Then, there’s Treasury, trying so hard to do what’s right, keeping employees and memberships in tact; but that’s not good enough for its investors… because they didn’t buy a lifestyle. They bought into the stupid concept that there’s tons of money to be made in the wine business and they want a huge piece of that pie. The reality is that for most people in the wine business, they’re simply struggling farmers trying to make an honest living in an industry that produces magical days and soothing nights.

Investors… a funny breed. From BrisBane Times, by Eli Greenblat.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will push ahead with its shareholder class action lawsuit against Treasury Wine Estates, the makers of wine brands such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Rosemount and Beringer, lodging its claim with the Federal Court on Wednesday in a case that could claim millions of dollars in damages over the alleged late disclosure of a 2013 profit downgrade to investors.

It didn’t come around fast enough for you guys, huh. (Pity party… continuing on with the story…)

Backed by litigation funders Bentham IMF, Maurice Blackburn has begun a class action case against Treasury Wine linked to the timing of the winemaker’s disclosure of a $190 million write-down in 2013 – a write-down that included a $33 million provision to pour 6 million bottles of wine down the drain after the stock was considered out of date, off or unsellable.

The wine should have just been shipped to all of the share holders. I dare say that the wine being “off” or unsellable would have fit perfectly into their wine cellars, without them having a real clue of what was important to do, in order to move forward… Like not keeping wines that were “done” in storage.

Honestly people, if you want to make money from money, just invest in pharmaceuticals. You’ll make tons, because that’s all you really want to do, right?

Case in point: I took a business class for four units (and pulled an A from this one). One of our exercises was to buy stock and then watch it go up or down throughout the semester. I pretend invested in a pharmaceutical company, because I kn0w what the average American cycle… and I knew what I was doing.

  • Eat poorly
  • Get sick
  • Need… nay want… prescription drugs to make them feel well, again
  • Versus do the work and recover

I also knew that in real life, it would be the last thing I’d invest in, because it would simply be a predatory maneuver… I need to sleep at night.

My family doctor has shared that he went to a medical convention and came away feeling ill from a presentation. The guest speaker was the head of a pharmaceutical company. He shared, “My dream is to have every single American on drugs, whether they need them or not.”

So there, investors… Leave the wine industry if you’re looking for making a quick buck. Those who are here to make  a quick buck aren’t taking their companies public. They’re just slicing and dicing their way through the thickets. Pharmaceuticals make money from sheeple… Best investing advice for the day, as we shake our heads over your law suit against Treasury.

There are a lot of nice people who work within that company… So, I shake my head…

3 Responses to “When wine becomes a bitch… Treasury, I feel for you…”

  1. David says:

    Jo,

    Sorry to say you are misinformed… Treasury (Foster’s) has turned over their employees more than 90%+(and in some cases 2x-3x) in the US since buying Beringer, one of the best wine companies in the industry here. There was no value placed on institutional knowledge. Therefore, they have written down the entire purchase proce of what they bought.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    David, thanks for weighing in.

    We all see life through different glasses. (I wrote a story called “Bitch in a Pink Slip, or the layers of my tulle,” after my last pink slip, so I do know your pain.
    I, more than most, know about no value being placed on institutional knowledge, having been pushed through the industry’s revolving door for nearly a decade. (That’s when I broke the glass ceiling that hung over my head the entire time, and started my own PR/Marketing company for wine in 2001, which I’ve operated since serving this industry.)

    I also know, more than most, that with supporting the companies that help build these mega brand, Treasury has never let me down. So it’s very personal, and I have a right to being right with my own intellectual property.

    It can only be said for very few of the mega wine giants, that they care about peripheral marketing. They take up causes in “cause marketing,” but don’t start by supporting the never ending advocacy group efforts, with very little compensation for those efforts, which are pulling for their region and/or their varieties…

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