Zepponi & Company Closes Two Major Brand Transactions in April
April was a busy month for transactions involving luxury wine brands. Zepponi & Company, a leading global merger and acquisition advisory firm dedicated to the beverage alcohol industry, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Oregon’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars and Sonoma County’s Patz & Hall Wine Company in their recently announced respective transactions.
Penner Ash, a premier Willamette Valley Pinot Noir producer, entered into an agreement with Jackson Family Wines to combine efforts in producing, marketing and selling its Penner-Ash wines. The transaction, which was announced in mid-April, officially closed on Friday, April 29.
Penner-Ash is best known for producing award-winning Pinot Noir wines crafted by Lynn Penner-Ash, who will continue to lead winemaking efforts at the critically acclaimed winery. The brand has become one of the leading producers of New World Pinot Noir wines, specializing in vineyard designate and small-lot, high quality wines. Jackson Family Wines is one of the largest family-owned wine companies in the world. Jackson Family Wines’ long-term vision of being a leader in superior wine quality and social responsibility were a perfect complement to the passions and goals of Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash. Along with the collaboration of Lynn Penner-Ash, Jackson Family Wines plans to continue the tradition of crafting luxury-end Pinot Noir from Oregon and demonstrating the same sense of place that the brand currently embodies.
Two weeks prior to the Penner Ash transaction, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced that it had acquired the assets of Patz & Hall Wine Company. Patz & Hall is one of California’s most renowned Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wineries based on its unmatched portfolio of luxury, single-vineyard wines. The talents and efforts of the winery’s four founding partners, along with its skilled management team, have made Patz & Hall wines synonymous with excellence.
Russell Joy will maintain his leadership role as the general manager of Patz & Hall, and all four founders will also continue their involvement with the winery. Ste. Michelle, headquarted in Woodinville, Washington, is the third largest premium wine company in the United States. Ste. Michelle has gradually amassed a “string of pearls” collection of wine estates throughout Washington, Oregon and California. The transaction will strengthen Ste. Michelle’s collection of distinctive California wine brands, and will become its Sonoma County “pearl” alongside Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley.
These two transactions follow recent acquisition trends among large wine companies that are aggressively looking to expand both geographically and into the luxury-priced segment of the market. Zepponi & Company expects this acquisition trend to continue
Zepponi & Company is a leading global merger and acquisition advisory firm that is dedicated to the beverage alcohol industry. Zepponi & Company has been the most active advisor in the North American wine sector. The firm has served as the financial advisor on numerous transactions involving ultra-premium and luxury wine brands, estates and vineyards, including Meiomi, Kenwood Vineyards, and Chalk Hill Estate, and has advised some of the largest beverage alcohol companies, including Constellation Brands, Diageo, Jackson Family Wines and F. Korbel & Bros. For more information, please visit www.zepponi.com.