Constellation Sells Canadian Wine Operations

The New York-based company, which owns Svedka vodka and the U.S. distribution rights to several prominent Mexican beer brands, agreed to sell its Canadian wine business and acquire Charles Smith Wines brands.

Mnet 152369 Constellation Brands Listing Image 0
Mnet 152370 Constellation Brands Listing Image 0

Constellation Brands on Monday announced a pair of changes to its wine brands.

The New York-based company, which owns Svedka vodka and the U.S. distribution rights to several prominent Mexican beer brands, agreed to sell its Canadian wine business and acquire Charles Smith Wines brands.

The Canadian wine operations — which includes the Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin brands, Wine Rack retail stores and wineries, vineyards and other facilities — are slated to be purchased by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for about $780 million.

The $120 million purchase of Charles Smith Wines, meanwhile, includes its Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Velvet Devil Merlot, Boom Boom! Syrah, Eve Chardonnay and Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon.

Constellation officials said that the moves were part of a broader strategy to "focus on premium, high margin and high growth brands."

Smith, who founded his wine collection featuring grapes from Washington State a decade ago, will work with Constellation under a consulting agreement.

"With the addition of this collection, we strengthen our core wine portfolio and augment our innovation capabilities to stay ahead of consumer trends," said Constellation wine and spirits chief Bill Newlands.

Constellation will retain its ownership of Black Velvet Whisky and its production plan in Alberta. Officials also announced the completion of its acquisition of Utah whiskey producer High West Distillery.

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