Beverage Industry

Constellation considers options for Australian and U.K. businesses

November 3, 2009

Constellation Brands Inc. announced it is looking into several opportunities to improve its Australian and U.K. businesses, including a possible sale of some assets or a merger of the Australian and U.K. wine operations with Australian Vintage Ltd. (AVL). The company says the combination under consideration might include an exchange for a substantial, but non-controlling, interest in the combined entity. If a transaction results, the combined companies would operate as a standalone wine company, which would be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
 
“The Australian wine industry is facing unprecedented negative operating conditions,” said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “This combination would create a more competitive entity better positioned to deal with the current environment.”
 
The company stressed that discussions with AVL still are at a preliminary stage.
 
“Constellation Brands remains focused on achieving stronger, more sustainable results by tightening the focus of the portfolio, optimizing assets and finding synergies across all aspects of the business,” Sands said.