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After buyouts, mergers, who owns what?

Record mergers and acquisitions in the North Coast's wine industry over the past 12 months set off a sometimes bewildering reshuffling of brands and their ownership by large global corporations.

The BUSINESS JOURNAL'S annual Who's Who in Wine survey of North Coast wineries 50,000 cases and above found a long list of changes for well-known players and labels.

By far the largest deal was the $14 billion acquisition in July of U.K.-based Allied Domecq by French and American drinks conglomerates.

Pernod Ricard of France acquired Allied Domecq, including local wine brands such as Clos Du Bois and Mumm Napa.

Then Illinois-based Fortune Brands paid Pernod $5 billion for Clos Du Bois, Buena Vista, William Hill and Gary Farrell wineries to add to its existing holdings of Geyser Peak and Wild Horse under the division name Peak Wines International.

Fortune then changed the name on the door of the Allied Domecq Wines USA office in Healdsburg to Beam Wine Estates and instantly had the fifth-largest wine company in the nation.

What Pernod Ricard kept in the U.S. was sparkling wine house Mumm Napa in Rutherford.

Another name change came as New York-based Constellation Brands has been integrating its early 2005 purchase of Oakville-based Robert Mondavi Corp. for $1.36 billion. The high-end Mondavi brands went into the Franciscan Estates fine wine division, which is composed of Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi Winery, Estancia Estates and Ravenswood wineries in California plus wineries in Washington state, Italy, New Zealand and Chile.

Franciscan Estates is now Icon Estates. While still based in the Napa Valley, Constellation recently merged a few dozen administrative positions from the division to headquarters.


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