Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Constellation and Brown-Forman Bidding For Allied Domecq?

Constellation is beginning to remind me of someone with a tapeworm. It just can't stop consuming.

Now that Allied Domecq has accepted an offer from Pernod Ricard (with Fortune Brands (Jim Beam) cleaning up the overlapping brands) Constellation is reportedly pairing with Brown-Forman to make a rival bid. Constellation just spend $1.3 billion for Robert Mondavi last December and AU$2.5 billion for BRL-Hardy in 2002. Their appetite seems to know no bounds!

However, I expect that after all of the recent wine acquisitions, Constellation might well be after Allied's spirits portfolio which has much better brands than its spirits portfolio does. In addition, Brown-Forman owns little in the wine business beyond Fetzer and Sonoma-Cutrer and might benefit from Allied's portfolio of wines more than Constellation would. I would then expect Constellation to take the spirits brands (Beefeater, Ballantine's, Sauza, Stoli, Maker's Mark, Kahlua, Malibu) and Brown-Forman to carve out the wine portfolio (Clos du Bois, Buena Vista, William Hill, Callaway Coastal, Gary Farrell, etc).


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