Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation Brands announced it has reached an agreement with Charles Smith Wines LLC to acquire its fast-growing Washington State wines for approximately $120 million. The transaction, which closed in October, includes five super and ultra-premium wines: Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Velvet Devil Merlot, Boom Booom! Syrah, Eve Chardonnay and Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon.
In addition to its expanded U.S. wine portfolio, Constellation announced that it is expanding its spirits portfolio through the acquisition of High West Distillery, Park City, Utah, and its portfolio of award-winning and high-end American straight whiskeys.
In other news, the company announced it is selling its Canadian wine business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The transaction includes Canadian wine brands such as Jackson-Triggs and Inniskilin as well as wineries, vineyards, offices facilities and Wine Rack retail stores, the company says. It will continue ownership of Black Velvet Whisky and the related production facility in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, it adds.
“In April, we announced plans to explore an initial public offering for a portion of our Canadian wine business as part of our strategy to focus on premium, high-margin and high-growth brands,” said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer for Constellation Brands, in a statement. “We seized the opportunity to sell the entire business in a value enhancing transaction when it presented itself. The Canadian wine business is the leader in the Canadian wine market and is a long-term growth opportunity. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is well-respected with a proven track record for supporting and growing their investments, so we know the business will be in good hands.”
The transaction, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the year. BI