South America’s top wine producer, Chile’s Concha y Toro, has just announced one of the largest acquisitions in its nearly 130-year history. In a deal with the North American Brown-Forman Corporation, the Chilean company will acquire Fetzer Vineyards and its related brands based out of Mendocino, California for US$238 million.
In the 2010 fiscal year, Fetzer Vineyards and their related vineyards – including brands like Bonterra, Cold Water Creek, and Little Black Dress – drew net sales of US$156 million. With sales of 2.2 million cases each year, Fetzer is one of the ten largest wine sellers in the United States by volume. The brand has also stood as a pioneer in sustainable agricultural practices for the past 20 years, making it one of he pioneers in the field of environmentally conscious wines.
One of the subsidiary brands owned by Fetzer, Bonterra, is also the foremost premium organic wine producer in the United States, selling 300,000 cases annually, more than three times the amount sold by its nearest competitor.
In total, the acquisition includes a portfolio of five brands and their related assets. These assets include more than 1,000 acres of vineyards in Mendocino, California, cellar space for 36 million liters of wine, and a bottling facility. These will be added to the more than 23,000 acres of vineyards already owned by Concha y Toro.
With markets in 135 countries worldwide, Concha y Toro is already one of the 10 largest producers in the world and expects the acquisition of Fetzer Vineyards primarily to boost sales and market share within the United States, already the company’s largest international market, along with Canada and the United Kingdom.
In an official press release from Concha y Toro, Chief Exectuvie Eduardo Guilisasti said, “we believe that this transaction opens additional growth opportunities globally, as well as in the American market, with its main brands Fetzer and Bonterra.”
The transaction, according to the press release, is expected to close in April 2011.