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June 21, 2011
Bacchus Inks Financing Deal with Andretti Winery
"Andretti is at a critical point in its history."
by Cyril Penn

Bacchus Capital Management announced its latest financing deal in the wine industry involves providing capital for Napa’s Andretti Winery.

Terms were not disclosed but Bacchus Capital said it replaced the former senior secured lender and added significant capital on top of that.

Andretti is owned by one of the world’s greatest race car drivers, Mario Andretti.

“We’ve reached a point that our brand is known as a winery and not just locally, and nationally – but all over the world,” Mario Andretti told winebusines.com. “I think we have to grow judiciously but grow and that’s the mode we’re in right now, no question.” He said the winery plans to increase production of both traditional wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon but also of Italian varietals.

“Andretti is at a critical point in its history,” Andretti said in a news release. “We have spent nearly 20 years developing this magnificent property in the heart of one of the world’s finest wine regions and producing outstanding varietals. My name is on every bottle and I am committed to producing the best quality wines across a range of prices.”

Andretti founded the winery with his longtime friend, Joe Antonini, a former chairman & CEO of Kmart Corporation. It currently produces about 25,000 cases a year, about 40 percent of which goes through distributors. The wines are available in 39 states though the winery currently focuses strongly on 12 states.

Antonini said working with Bacchus Capital will enable the winery to build on its brand recognition and acceptance, expand inventory, production, infrastructure and distribution. “As we talked about the future of Andretti Winery, we thought it was important to take it to the next level,” Antonini said. “To do that we needed more capital.”

Bacchus Capital Management is an investment and advisory firm co-founded in 2007 by Sam Bronfman II, Peter S. Kaufman and Henry F. Owsley providing alternative financing and equity capital to wineries and wine businesses. Recent deals have included Cameron Hughes, Qupé, and Olsen Agricultural Enterprises.

Bacchus' Peter Kaufman said more deals are “in the hopper.”
 

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