Vintage Wine Estates receives further $100m in backing
A Utah-based firm has increased its investment in Sonoma-based wine group Vintage Wine Estates by US$100 million.
Wasatch Global Investors has invested a further $100m in Vintage Wine Estates in addition to the $28m it had already pledged.
Vintage Wine Estates, a group consisting of some 50 Californian brands ranging from $10-$150 at retail, is set to merge with Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. In an announcement in February this year, the wine company announced it was merging with Bespoke, a division of Bespoke Capital Partners, which is chaired by the former CEO of Diageo, Paul Walsh.
The merger, which the companies claim will create a business valued at around $700m, is expected to complete in May 2021, pending approval from shareholders.
Bespoke referred to the additional $100m investment at $10 per share as a “strong endorsement” of the proposed merger, which would provide the company with “significant incremental capital to support its growth strategy”.
VWE, under president Terry Wheatley, has acquired 20 wineries in the past decade and is looking to pursue further opportunities.
Wheatley told Yahoo Finance: “A lot of the smaller winemakers or a lot of the smaller wine companies really have suffered during the pandemic. We’ve seen people that don’t have a succession plan. We’ve seen people that have really been focused on tasting rooms, wine clubs, and so forth, and maybe even in the restaurant trade, and really suffered.
“There was a study done by Silicon Valley Bank recently that said over half of those folks [wineries in the US] were willing to sell. So for an assortment of reasons, but we really think that we have over 2,000 targets that we can look to acquire and bring into our platform.”
Commenting on the additional investment, Pat Roney, founder and CEO of Vintage Wine Estates, added: “This investment bolsters the capital available to us to capitalize on growth opportunities we see. We are pleased to partner with Wasatch and look forward to working with them, BCAC and our other new investors in executing on our strategy.”