Midwest custom production facility increases supply chain efficiencies and provides platform for further growth
Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. (NASDAQ: VWE) (TSX: VWE.U) (TSX: VWE.WT.U) (“VWE” or the “Company”), a top 15 U.S. wine company and one of the fastest-growing wine producers in the U.S., announced today the acquisition of Meier’s Wine Cellars, Inc., DBA Meier’s Beverage Group, (“Meier’s”) located in Silverton, Ohio which is north of Cincinnati. The purchase was valued at approximately eight times Meier’s 2021 adjusted EBITDA.
With approximately $18 million in revenue in 2021, Meier’s is a leading producer, bottler, importer and marketer of specialty beverage alcohol and non-alcohol products and is one of the oldest and most versatile custom beverage production facilities in the Midwest. A leading service provider of custom blending, contract storage, contract manufacturing, and private labeling for wine, beer, and spirits, Meier’s owns a bonded winery, brewery, and distilled spirits plant with processing, blending, and bottling capabilities for a broad variety of beverage alcohol and non-alcoholic products. These operations include three bottling lines and a state-of-the-art beverage canning line that produces over 800,000 cases annually.
“Vintage Wine Estates has a longstanding relationship with Meier’s and has been a spirits client for many years. We know their operation to be among the most well-managed in the business,” commented Pat Roney, CEO of Vintage Wine Estates. “We are particularly excited about their expertise in ready-to-drink (“RTD”) wine and beverage alcohol production and plan to expand our RTD production, including Ace Cider products, at their facility.”
Along with enhanced production capabilities and supply chain efficiencies, Meier’s offers significant additional warehouse and storage space. The central Midwest location provides more efficient access to Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast markets, allowing for rapid expansion of points of distribution for products such as ACE Cider which was acquired by VWE in November 2021.
Typical with VWE acquisitions, the Company plans to benefit from additional future synergies gained through consolidation, operating leverage, and growth.
Meier’s President, Paul Lux will continue to bring his longstanding expertise to the operation. Commenting on joining the VWE team, Mr. Lux stated, “We are excited to partner with Vintage Wine Estates which has been successfully growing its beverage alcohol business over the last 20 years. We were attracted to the opportunity to join VWE because we expect the combination to accelerate cash flow growth from stronger operating leverage while also expanding our capabilities and market reach. Meier’s brings technical strength, increased capacity, and deeper Mid-West geographic access to the broader brand equity and scale of Vintage Wine Estates. We look forward to our shared success and the expected solid growth that this merger creates.”
About Vintage Wine Estates:
Vintage Wine Estates is a family of wineries and wines whose singular focus is producing the finest quality wines and incredible customer experiences with wineries throughout Napa, Sonoma, California’s Central Coast, Oregon, and Washington State. Since its founding 20 years ago, the Company has become a top 15 U.S. wine producer via organic and acquisitive growth, today selling nearly 2 million nine-liter equivalent cases annually. To consistently drive growth, the Company curates, creates, stewards, and markets its many brands and services to customers and end consumers via a balanced omni-channel strategy encompassing direct-to-consumer, wholesale, and exclusive brands arrangements with national retailers. While VWE is diverse across price points and varietals with over 50 brands ranging from $10 to $150 at retail, its primary focus is on the fastest growing premium segment of the wine industry with the majority of brands selling in the $10 to $20 price range. The Company regularly posts updates and additional information at https://www.vintagewineestates.com.
About Meier’s Beverage Group:
Meier’s Beverage Group is a growing manufacturer of bulk and packaged wine, beer, spirits, and consumer beverages. Meier’s has operated in this space for over 100 years and focuses on the broadening of its portfolio of wines and juices as well as aiding in the growth of start-up and craft companies operating in similar industries. Meier’s services customers throughout the U.S. as well as in Asia, Europe, and South America and produces more than 800,000 cases annually. It is the oldest and largest winery in Ohio and is dedicated to expanding the breadth and depth of its portfolio, the success of its downstream clients, and the personal and professional growth of its team members. For more information, visit https://www.drinkmeiers.com.
Some of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements are all statements other than those of historical fact, and generally may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “future,” “intend,” “may,” “model,” “outlook,” “plan,” “pro forma,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would” or other similar expressions that indicate future events or trends. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the expected financial, operational, and other benefits from the Meier’s Wine Cellars acquisition. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of VWE’s management and are not guarantees of actual performance. Actual events and circumstances may differ materially from those contained in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of VWE. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, among others: the Company’s ability to remediate its material weakness in internal control over financial reporting and to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, the effect of economic conditions on the industries and markets in which VWE operates, including financial market conditions, fluctuations in prices, interest rates and market demand; risks relating to the uncertainty of the projected financial information; the effects of competition on VWE’s future business; risks related to the organic and inorganic growth of VWE’s business and the timing of expected business milestones; the potential adverse effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on VWE’s business and the U.S. economy; declines or unanticipated changes in consumer demand for VWE’s products; the impact of environmental catastrophe, natural disasters, disease, pests, weather conditions and inadequate water supply on VWE’s business; VWE’s significant reliance on its distribution channels; potential reputational harm to VWE’s brands from internal and external sources; possible decreases in VWE’s wine quality ratings; integration risks associated with recent acquisitions; changes in applicable laws and regulations and the significant expense to VWE of operating in a highly regulated industry; VWE’s ability to make payments on its indebtedness; and those factors discussed in documents of VWE filed, or to be filed, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or Canadian securities regulatory authorities. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect VWE’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date and time of this press release. VWE undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, except as may be required by law. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon these forward-looking statements.