Constellation sells UK and Australian wine business

23 December, 2010

Constellation Brands has sold its Australian and UK wine business to a private equity firm for A$290 million.

The deal includes brands such as Hardys and Banrock Station, as well as the company’s UK facilities and its half-share in Matthew Clark, its wholesaling division.

Constellation will retain a 20% share in the business, which is being bought by CHAMP Private equity of Sydney.

Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer of Constellation Brands, said: “During the last two years, Constellation has implemented a strategy focused on driving profitable organic growth through premiumising its world class brand portfolio and improving margins, return on invested capital and free cash flow.

“Constellation Wines Australia & Europe sells quality wines from the important Australian appellation and has significant scale, but continues to be faced with challenging market conditions. Therefore, the business is no longer consistent with Constellation’s strategy. We believe CHAMP has the requisite skills and motivation necessary for accelerating the success of the CWAE group.”




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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