Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands is one of the world's largest wine companies, based in Victor, New York state in the US, with annual sales of US$2.79bn in its last fiscal year.

The publicly-listed company traces its roots back to 1945, when Marvin Sands formed Canandaigua Industries Company and began selling bulk wine. The firm became Constellation Brands in 2000, and proceeded to pursue large-scale acquisitions more aggressively. In 2001, it bought leading US Zinfandel producer Ravenswood , and followed this up by acquiring Turner Road Vintners in the same year.

In 2003, the group bought full control Australia's largest producer, BRL Hardy , for A$1.9bn. It then bought Robert Mondavi for US$1bn in 2004, while also taking a 40% stake in Italian winemaker Ruffino and acquiring Effen vodka. In 2005, it became the exclusive importer of Mouton Cadet . However, by the time Constellation bought Canada's Vincor in 2006, some market commentators criticised the group for relying on bolt-on deals to lift sales.

Recent years have marked Constellation's retreat from the international business, encapsulated by its deal to sell 80% of its Europe and Australia business, including Hardys, to Champ Private Equity at the end of 2010.

Today, the group is focused on building premium wine sales in North America, and its brand stable includes Kim Crawford, Clos du Bois, Ravenswood, Mondavi and, most recently, Mark West. It also owns the Crown Imports beer business, which distributes Corona in the US.

DWWA 2013 Retailer Awards, Majestic

Heavy discounts blamed for sluggish wine sales say Constellation and Majestic

9th January 2015

Pressure to offer wine drinkers deals during Christmas in the UK and Thanksgiving in the US has damaged sales figures, according to updates released in the past week.

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Clos Bois

Constellation Brands' wine sales weaker than expected

3rd October 2013

Beer has boosted half-year profits for Constellation Brands, but the firm's wine business had a mixed six months.

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Clos Bois

Constellation Brands announces US$20m expansion

26th September 2013

Constellation Brands has announced that it is investing $20m to buy more land and expand winemaking facilities to support rising sales of its premium brands over the medium-term.

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Gallo and Constellation to pay out in fake Pinot case

20th January 2012

E&J Gallo and Constellation have agreed to pay up to US$2m in an out of court settlement to consumers duped in the notorious fake Pinot Noir scandal.

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Appeal court upholds Red Bicyclette sentences

18th October 2011

The French appeal court in Montpellier has upheld the sentences handed down in the notorious Red Bicyclette fake Pinot Noir case.

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Constellation shares jump as profits rise

7th October 2011

Shares in Constellation Brands jumped nearly 9% yesterday as the company announced profits up 78% in the second quarter of this year.

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Constellation Europe changes name to Accolade

28th June 2011

Constellation Wines Europe and Australia has officially changed its name to Accolade Wines.

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Constellation sells Hardys, Kumala, Banrock Station

1st February 2011

Constellation Brands has completed the sale of a host of popular wine names including Hardys, Kumala and Banrock Station to private equity company Champ.

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Australia's wine industry hit by series of problems

2nd July 2009

Australia’s wine industry is reeling from a series of unwelcome developments.

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Power List 2009: Parker gives way to Constellation

1st June 2009

Robert Parker has fallen from the top of the Decanter Power List, ceding pole position to the head of the world’s biggest wine company.

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Constellation sells wineries and vineyards

7th August 2008

Constellation Wines Australia has announced the sale of three wineries and 23 vineyards.

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Constellation-Hardy will be 'the Coca-Cola of winemaking' - Millar

21st January 2003

The head of the gigantic new conglomerate formed by the merger of Constellation Brands and BRL Hardy wants to turn the company into the Microsoft - or Coca-Cola - of the wine world.

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Hardys and Constellation set to merge

14th January 2003

The world's biggest wine company is set to be created by the end of the week as BRL Hardy and Constellation Brands get into the last stages of merger talks.

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