Brl Hardy: Globalizing an Australian Wine Company

In: Business and Management

Submitted By RWJ901105
Words 298
Pages 2
• Intro o In January 1998, Christopher Carson, the head of BRL Hardy Europe, faced 2 difficult decisions: Should he launch Distinto, a new line of Italian wines his group had developed, despite concerns from Australian HQ?§
§ In response to a UK market opportunity, which entry-level wine should be introduced in Europe: Kelly’s Revenge, a wine developed by his European team, or Banrock Station, a wine developed by Australian HQ? o Steve Millar, Carson’s boss at HQ in Australia, believed strongly in decentralized decision-making and allowing Carson to make his own decisions, but he wanted to make sure that decisions made in Europe where consistent with BRL Hardy’s strategy to develop global brands.

• Industry Background o Despite meager beginnings, by 1996, BRL Hardy had become the second largest wine producer in Australia. o Throughout the 1990’s, the Australian wine industry experience rapid growth and international expansion. Australian wines were becoming a “hot trend” throughout the international wine community. o The UK was the largest worldwide importer of Australian wine exports

• Company Background and History o BRL Hardy was the result of a 1992 merger between 2 competing Australian wine producers: BRL and Thomas Hardy & Sons. At the time of the merger, the companies had very different cultures: BRL was known as very “aggressive and commercial,” while Hardy was known as “polite and traditional.”§ o The merger occurred because both companies were struggling financially, particularly with their failing international acquisitions and partnerships. Both companies believed that they would better be able to address these problems as a larger firm. Their critics doubted them, saying: “when you put 2 dogs together, all you get is louder barking.” o The resulting organization had mostly BRL managers at the high levels, with more Hardy managers…...

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