FAIRPORT, N.Y., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ; STZ.B) today confirmed it is in discussions regarding a possible acquisition or merger with Australia's largest wine producer BRL Hardy (ASX: BRL). The two companies currently operate a successful joint venture, Pacific Wine Partners, which markets BRL Hardy wines in the U.S. Constellation Chairman and CEO Richard Sands said, "Discussions with BRL Hardy regarding a possible transaction are taking place, but we have not yet reached agreement on a structure or transaction value."

Mr. Sands said, "Bringing together Constellation and BRL Hardy would create the world's largest wine business, with leading positions in the world's key wine markets. We would have a broader and more powerful wine portfolio to market worldwide, encompassing all price points and emphasizing the fastest growing category -- 'New World' wines from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Chile. It would accelerate our overall growth rates, adding to Constellation's track record of generating excellent results and delivering shareholder value. While our discussions are at an advanced stage and the companies have signed non-solicitation and break fee agreements, there can be no assurances that any transaction will be agreed upon."

About Constellation

Constellation Brands, Inc. is a leading producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands, with a broad portfolio of wines, spirits and imported beers. The Company is the largest single-source supplier of these products in the United States, and both a major producer and independent drinks wholesaler in the United Kingdom. The company also operates a US based joint venture with the largest Australian Wine Company -- BRL Hardy. Well-known brands in Constellation's portfolio include: Corona Extra, Pacifico, St. Pauli Girl, Black Velvet, Fleischmann's, Estancia, Simi, Ravenswood, Blackstone, Banrock Station, Alice White, Talus, Vendange, Almaden, Arbor Mist, Stowells of Chelsea and Blackthorn. SOURCE Constellation Brands, Inc.


CONTACT: Emilio Ruocco, +1-585-218-3667, or Mark Maring, +1-585-218-3668, or Ginny Clark, +1-585 218-3669, all of Constellation Brands, Inc./

/Web site: http://www.cbrands.com /