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Deals

Winemaker Vintage Wines Estates to go public through blank-check deal

(Reuters) - Vintage Wine Estates Inc said on Thursday it would merge with a blank-check firm to go public in a deal that values the California-based winemaker at around $690 million including debt.

Prior to the deal with Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp, investment firm Waswatch Global Investors bought a stake worth $28 million in the company, Vintage Wine Estates said in a statement.

Vintage Wine has 12 winery estates in Napa, Sonoma and the central coast of California. It was founded by Pat Roney, who is also the chief executive officer of the company.

The winemaker’s brands, which include Purple Cowboy and Laetitia, sell for anywhere from $10 to $150.

The wine-making business in California has suffered a setback as the COVID-19 pandemic has crushed tourism. Winemakers like Vintage Wine Estates have sought to cushion the impact through measures like virtual tastings.

Blank-check firms are special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) which use proceeds from their initial public offering to buy a private firm. The private firm is then taken public. SPACs emerged as a popular alternative to traditional IPOs in 2020, and the trend has shown no sign of slowing down so far in 2021.

Bespoke Capital Acquisition said it is in the process of listing on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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