Constellation to Acquire Mark West

FILED JUNE 29, 2012

Dear Client:

Constellation Brands has struck a deal with Purple Wine Company to purchase Mark West. Mark West pinot noir grew volumes by 35% in the last 12 weeks based on scan data from SymphonyIRI, and has grown into a nearly 600,000-case brand sold primarily in the U.S.

Says Constellation chief Rob Sands: "Mark West is one of the fastest-growing major pinot noirs in the market and has exceeded the growth of the category. It is an exciting addition to our portfolio and fills a gap in our portfolio of pinot noir brands."

Says Purple Wine Company Owner and chief Derek Benham: "While we did not search out this opportunity, it was an offer that made a great deal of sense given the evolution of the brand and the unique strengths and capabilities of Purple Wine Company. Mark West had reached a critical juncture in its development. Purple Wine Company has grown Mark West to the point where it requires a company with the scale, reach and resources of Constellation Brands to sustain that growth."

The transaction includes the Mark West trademark and inventories of wines from three California appellations: a California pinot noir, a Russian River reserve pinot noir and a Santa Lucia reserve pinot noir, along with a chardonnay. The deal is expected to close in July.

To read our recent interview with Derek, click here:

Until later, Megan

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