AGR Partners invests in Vintage Wine EstatesAGR Partners invests in Vintage Wine Estates
Food and agribusiness investor gets minority equity interest in Vintage Wine Estates.
April 13, 2018
AGR Partners announced April 12 its investment in Vintage Wine Estates, giving it a minority equity interest in the company.
Vintage said the new investment, which totals $75 million from AGR and existing shareholders, will “help support future winery and brand acquisitions and expansion-related production efficiencies.” The company has been on an acquisition spree over the past several years, adding Washington’s Tamarack Cellars, Oregon’s Firesteed Vineyards and California’s Layer Cake, Cherry Pie, If You See Kay, Cameron Hughes, B.R. Cohn, Swanson Vineyards and Delectus to its portfolio.
Meanwhile, responding to reports regarding potential acquisition targets for Treasury Wine Estates, Vintage Wine Estates said it will continue to be a buyer, not a seller, looking ahead. In a statement, the company said it “is neither seeking nor engaging in any sale conversations.” On the contrary, the statement noted, “We’re actively looking for additional acquisitions as we continue to drive our rapid growth plans.” Vintage has grown markedly in recent years, and now produces nearly 2 million cases annually.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which analysts have also mentioned as a potential acquisition target for Treasury, said it “does not comment on speculation about our business.”
AGR Partners is an investment firm dedicated to food and agribusiness. It has provided growth capital through a minority equity stake in the company, said Pat Roney, chief executive officer/president of Vintage Wine Estates.
"We are delighted to enter into a partnership with AGR Partners," Roney said. "They understand the agricultural nature of our business and are fully on board with our growth and long-term acquisition strategy."
Vintage Wine Estates was founded in 2008 when Roney, owner of Napa Valley's Girard Winery, purchased Sonoma's Windsor Vineyards, the wine industry's first direct-to-consumer brand. Today, Vintage Wine Estates produces close to 2 million cases and owns a collection of wineries and estates, plus consumer and exclusive wine brands. Vintage Wine Estates markets and sells its wines across multiple channels, including wholesale, direct to consumer, tasting rooms, wine clubs, internet, telesales and television.
"We are excited to partner with Roney and the Vintage Wine Estates team to support their growth plans," said Ejnar Knudsen, CEO of AGR Partners. "We look to make long-term investments to support best-in-class businesses with great partners; our investment in Vintage Wine Estates aligns closely with this goal."
AGR Partners is an investment firm based in Davis, Cal., and Chicago, Ill., dedicated to backing strong, food company and agribusiness teams through long-term investments of non-controlling equity or subordinated debt to facilitate late-stage growth, strategic acquisitions, full buyouts and ownership transitions. AGR Partners' portfolio of investments in food and agribusiness companies includes Almark Foods, Ridley, Opal Foods, SEMO Milling, 3D Corporate Solutions, Icicle Seafoods and Tru-Test Group.
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