Beverage Industry

Constellation Brands sells U.K. cider business, names new North American president

December 1, 2009

Constellation Brands Inc., Victor, N.Y., entered into an agreement to sell its Gaymer Cider Co. business to C&C Group PLC of Dublin, Ireland, for approximately $70 million, subject to closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close by mid-January.
 
“The Gaymer cider business has been a valued and respected part of Constellation’s European operations for many years,” said Rob Sands, Constellation Brands’ president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “However, as the company’s strategy has evolved to focus on premium higher-growth, higher-margin wine, beer and spirits brands, it made good strategic sense to sell the cider business. Overall, Constellation continues to pursue opportunities and strategies that promote the simplification of its international organization, the improvement of efficiencies, return on invested capital, cash flow and the reduction of costs.”
 
As part of the sale, C&C will receive all Gaymer cider brands including Blackthorn Cider, Gaymers Original and Pear Cider, Addlestones and Olde English Cider along with a production facility and associated warehouses and distribution facilities.
 
In addition, Constellation Brands announced that it has promoted Jay Wright president of Constellation Wines North America (CWNA) effective immediately. The CWNA organization includes Constellation Wines U.S. and Vincor Canada. The company also announced that José F. Fernandez, chief executive officer of CWNA, has begun a leave of absence.