Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ), the world’s leading premium wine company, announced today that it has completed the sale of its Australian and U.K. business to CHAMP Private Equity of Sydney, Australia. The transaction is valued at approximately A$290 million. Constellation retained an approximate 20 percent interest in the business and received cash proceeds of about $230 million, subject to closing adjustments.
Constellation expects that net proceeds will be used to reduce borrowings. Any after-tax gain or loss recognized in connection with this transaction will be excluded from the company’s comparable basis diluted earnings per share. The impact of this transaction is expected to be neutral to ongoing reported basis and comparable basis diluted EPS for fiscal 2011 and neutral to slightly dilutive for fiscal 2012.
The company also announced that effective March 1, Jay Wright, president of Constellation Wines North America, will assume responsibility for Constellation New Zealand in addition to leading Constellation Wines U.S. and Vincor Canada, Constellation’s Canadian operations.