(Adds details on buyer, stock activity)
NEW YORK, June 10 Beer, wine and spirits
company Constellation Brands Inc (STZ.N) said on Tuesday it
sold several wine brands to Ascentia Wine Estates, a newly
formed company, for $209 million.
Included in the sale are the Geyser Peak, Buena Vista, Gary
Farrell and Atlas Peak brands.
Ascentia, also known as Eight Estates Fine Wines LLC, was
formed by a group of investors including Jim DeBonis, former
chief operating officer of Beam Wine Estates; William and Peter
Deutsch, who run wine importer W.J. Deutsch & Sons Ltd; and
GESD Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity
This is Ascentia's first acquisition.
Constellation, whose shares rose nearly 2 percent in
morning trade, said it could receive up to an additional $25
million in payments if the buyer met certain targets. It plans
to use the proceeds to pay down debt.
As a result of the sale, Constellation said it expects to
record a pretax loss of about $23 million, or 8 cents per
share, due mostly to the write-off of goodwill.
Excluding the loss, Constellation affirmed its forecast for
the current fiscal year, ending next February, saying it still
expects to earn $1.68 to $1.76 per share excluding items.
Constellation owns brands like Robert Mondavi wine and
Effen Vodka. Through a joint venture with Mexico's Modelo
GMODELOC.MX, it sells beers including Corona, Negra Modelo
and St. Pauli Girl in the United States.
Its shares were up 38 cents at $21.15 on the New York Stock
(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and Dave Zimmerman)