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Constellation sells Inglenook, Almaden and Paul Masson winery

Wine giant Constellation has sold both the Inglenook and Almaden brands, as well as the Paul Masson winery, to The Wine Group, it was announced today.

The transaction, in which Constellation pockets US$134m (£69m), is expected to be finalised by the end of February. Constellation, based in New York, say the cash will be used to ‘reduce borrowings’.

All the assets sold are based in Madera, California, 142 miles south west of San Francisco, where The Wine Group has its headquarters.

If completed, the deal will reinforce the Wine Group’s position as one of the largest US wine producers, alongside Constellation and E&J Gallo.

It also remains one of the most secretive businesses in the industry, shunning publicity. In Wine Business survey of 2005, The Wine Group boss David Kent was asked to provide a statement.

‘One of the great benefits of being a privately held company is that the CEO is not required to provide forward-looking statements to competitors or the general public,’ Kent told the publication.

Almaden and Inglenook wines retail for under US$3 (£1.5) per bottle in the US.

Written by Oliver Styles

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