Hungry Constellation prepares to tuck in to Vincor [updated]

  • Wednesday 28 September 2005

The world’s largest wine company, Constellation Brands, has launched a hostile takeover bid for the Canadian-based Vincor International.

The New World wine giant, based in New York, offered US$1.2bn for Vincor whose portofolio includes Jackson-Triggs, Kumala, Kim Crawford and Inniskillin. Constellation will also assume the Canadian company’s debt – currently estimated at around US$260m.

It is not known whether or not the Canadian company will accept Constellation’s offer although previous amicable takeover talks were scuppered by Vincor’s directors earlier this month. Vincor’s board is believed to be set against a takeover.

‘We are disappointed that the Vincor board has refused to engage in meaningful discussions with Constellation,’ said Richard Sands, chairman of Constellation.

Sands, declared the wine world’s most influential man in Decanter magazine’s June issue, is unlikely to back down.

‘This initiative is a high priority for us, and we are committed to making this combination a reality,’ he said.

In an open letter to Vincor chairman Mark Hilson, also head of Jackson-Triggs, Sands requested a reply by yesterday afternoon.

Vincor’s response was not known at the time of publication.

Constellation is the world’s biggest wine company, owning brands such as Mondavi, Paul Masson, Banrock Station, Hardy’s, Stowells and Nobilo.

  • Vincor has rejected Constellation's US$1.2bn offer, saying it is 'inadequate and not in the best interests of shareholders'. Despite calling the approach 'opportunistic and inadequate', the Canadian company said it would consider other proposals.

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