Thursday, December 16, 2004

Huneeus thinks Constellation group will match Chalone offer

Augustin Huneeus Jr. was quoted in the St. Helena Star today, saying that "I imagine we'll counter,". I imagine they won't. I think Constellation has bigger fish to fry with finishing its acquisition of Robert Mondavi and making an offer on Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Chalone is just to small for them to worry about, in my opinion. Huneeus, on the other hand just lost a very nice job running a large, ultra-premium wine company and wants his job back. Further, I think that Constellation offered a large premium to Chalone originally, and the new Diageo offer has driven Chalone's P/E ratio to nearly 600!!!! (average S&P is usually around 20). I think Diageo is grossly overpaying as a defensive strategy for its other ultra-premium lines (BV and Sterling) and that they won't be able to extract their cost in value from Chalone which has a collection of interesting, but hardly stunning wine brands.


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