Sycamore Partners Management Acquires 30,000-Acre Wine Producer for $1.2B
NEW YORK CITY — Private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management has acquired Ste. Michelle Wine Estates for $1.2 billion. The transaction is the largest private equity purchase of a wine business in the U.S., according to Bank of the West, which led financing for the acquisition.
Altria Group Inc. was the seller, according to reports by Bloomberg. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the third-largest premium winery in the U.S. with over 30,000 acres of vineyards spread across three states. Some of the company’s popular brands include Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Patz & Hall, Northstar, Erath and Stags Leap.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the largest brands in the Pacific Northwest, located roughly 18 miles northeast of Seattle in Woodinville, Wash. The winery — which produces 60 percent of Washington’s annual wine sales — also owns 3,900 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek.
New York City-based Sycamore Partners specializes in consumer, distribution and retail-related investments. The firm has approximately $10 billion in aggregate committed capital.
Bank of the West, headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the largest commercial lenders to the wine industry in the U.S.