Constellation Buys Fortune's Wine Biz

  • November 13, 2007
Constellation Brands, the world's biggest winemaker, is buying Fortune Brands' U.S. wine business, maker of the Clos du Bois, Wild Horse and Geyser Peak brands, for $885 million.

Constellation has more than 300 brands in its stable, including Ravenswood wine, St. Paul Girl beer and Black Velvet Canadian whiskey. In 2003, it bought an Australian vintner and became the world's largest wine business. Last year, Constellation paid more than $1 billion for Canada's Vincor International.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Fortune Brands makes such products as Master Lock and Moen, Maker's Mark and Courvoisier, and the No. 1 golf ball, Titleist. The sale will let the company focus on its higher-margin liquor business.

Based near Rochester, N.Y., Constellation will acquire more than 1,500 acres of vineyards in California and five California wineries, which posted 2006 revenue of $214 million.

--Nina M. Lentini



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