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Constellation Brands sells whisky brand Black Velvet for $266m

Constellation Brands has agreed to offload Black Velvet Canadian Whisky to US distilled spirits supplier Heaven Hill Brands for approximately $266 million.

The deal also includes Black Velvet’s associated production facility in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, along with a subset of Canadian whisky brands produced at that site.

The net sales for the brands included in the transaction totalled $67 million during Constellation’s fiscal year 2019.

“We are relentlessly focused on the consumer and building a portfolio of brands consumers love today, while pushing beyond to meet their evolving needs well into the future,” said Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands CEO.

“This decision aligns with our consumer-led premiumisation strategy to deliver accelerated growth and shareholder value as we continue to focus our wine and spirits portfolio on higher-end, fast-growing brands.

“For Heaven Hill, Black Velvet is a historic, well-known, and high-volume brand that complements their broad distilled spirits portfolio and aligns with their business strategy.”

Heaven Hill said the Black Velvet brand fills an “important gap” in its distilled spirits portfolio by substantially expanding sales activities in the imported whisky category, adding that the brand complements its portfolio of brands such as Evan Williams Bourbon, Burnett’s Vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka, Admiral Nelson’s Rums and Christian Brothers Brandies.

“We are excited to add Black Velvet to our iconic group of brands and look forward to growing this historic brand in the months and years ahead,” said Max Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Brands.

“As we continue to build our business based on strategic acquisitions and innovation, Heaven Hill’s commitment to quality continues to steer the positive outlook for our diverse portfolio.”

It is expected the transaction will close in the second half of 2019.

The deal comes a month after Constellation announced it acquired a minority stake in Colorado-based craft rum maker Montanya Distillers.



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