California wine brands Stag’s Leap, Patz & Hall are part of $ 1.2 billion Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Portfolio Agreement


A New York-based private equity firm signed a $ 1.2 billion deal with tobacco giant Altria to acquire Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, third premium producer in the United States

The deal with Sycamore Partners Management LP, announced Friday, includes about two dozen brands and nine wineries in Washington, California and Oregon, as well as 2,800 acres of vineyards, mostly in Washington. Ste. Michelle sources from nearly 30,000 acres of grapes in the tri-state. The total wine shipped last year was the equivalent of 7.3 million 9-liter cases.

The transaction is expected to be finalized in the second half of this year.

The brand portfolio includes North Shore winemakers Patz & Hall in Sonoma Valley Conn Creek on St. Helena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars near Yountville. Stag’s Leap and Col Solare in Washington are operated as part of a joint venture with Italian Marchesi Antinori, whose Ste. Michelle also distributes.

Stag’s Leap produces about 100,000 cases per year, Patz & Hall about 20,000 cases and Conn Creek about 7,000 cases, according to a spokesperson.

“The Ste. Michelle leadership team and I look forward to working with the Sycamore Partners team and believe we are well positioned to help drive the next phase of growth. Their commitment to partner with us is a tremendous vote of confidence in the team and our great estates and brands, ”said David Dearie, President and CEO of St. Michelle Wine Estates, in a statement.

A Sycamore spokesperson declined to comment on the deal.

Sycamore focuses on investments related to consumers, distribution and retail, according to its website. Recent deals have included $ 201 million for upscale cruise line Azamara and clothing brands Ann Taylor, LOFT Lou & Gray and Lane Bryant.

If completed, it would be the third major wine acquisition involving North Coast brands after the Gallo-Constellation and Delicato Familiy Wines-Francis Ford Coppola Winery accords.

Earlier this year, E. & J. Gallo Winery and Constellation Brands finalized the sale for $ 810 million of 32 brands, including Clos Du Bois and several based or launched on the North Coast.

Then last month, Napa-based Delicato Family Wines signed with Francis Ford Coppola to sell its Sonoma County wineries, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Virginia Dare Winery brands and facilities, creating one of 10 major wine suppliers to the United States and exporters from California. wine. This agreement is estimated between 500 million and 1 billion dollars.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Prior to the Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He graduated from Walla Walla University. Contact him at [email protected] or 707-521-4256.

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