UPDATE 1-Constellation Brands to buy Svedka vodka
NEW YORK Feb 6 (Reuters) - Beer, wine and spirits company Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ.N) will buy the Svedka vodka brand and related businesses for $384 million, the company said on Tuesday.
The sellers are Guillaume Cuvelier, creator of Svedka vodka, and Belgian-based Alcofinance SA.
"Svedka complements and enhances our premium spirits offerings by providing a popular and rapidly growing vodka brand in the largest U.S. spirits category," said Richard Sands, Constellation's chief executive officer. "It has strong brand equity and positive momentum, which we can build upon through increased U.S. distribution, as well as international expansion."
The deal is expected to close around March 1.
Constellation, owner of Robert Mondavi wine and Effen vodka, has spent more than $4 billion in the last three years expanding its geographic footprint with the acquisition of wine companies BRL Hardy of Australia, Robert Mondavi of the United States and Vincor of Canada.
Shares of Constellation were down 11 cents to $24.40 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.