~Deal focuses on building significant presence for world's top selling table wine brand in the rapidly growing market~
HONG KONG AND VICTOR, N.Y., March 26, 2014--VATS Liquor and Constellation Brands, Inc., (NYSE: STZ and STZ:B), announced today a long term strategic agreement to jointly develop the iconic Robert Mondavi brand, the world's number one selling table wine, in China*. VATS Liquor, a strong and trusted brand building and distribution business for authentic brands in China, and Constellation, the world's largest premium wine company, will work together to exclusively market and promote the brand. The format and the scale of this agreement is unique in the global wine industry. It also begins a new chapter of commercial cooperation between the U.S. and China for the wine industry.
Mr. Wu Xiangdong, chairman of VATS Group and VATS Liquor; Mr. Zhu He, managing director of VATS Liquor; Mr. Jay Wright, president of Constellation Wine and Spirits Division and hundreds of distinguished guests attended a press conference today at the Chengdu Minyoun Royal Hotel. The strategic agreement between VATS Liquor and Constellation is anticipated to last for a few decades. Both companies will work to grow the marketplace share of the Robert Mondavi brand through Constellation's brand management expertise and VATS' vast distribution network and knowledge of the Chinese consumer.
"The mission of VATS Liquor is to offer reliable channels for consumers to buy authentic fine wine and spirits. Constellation is the world's largest premium wine company, and it has more than one hundred brands of wines, spirits, and beer. I cordially welcome Robert Mondavi wines, the crown jewel of Constellation's wine portfolio, to join the VATS's portfolio. It will satisfy the growing wine consumption of the middle class, and escalate the wine business development of VATS Liquor," said Wu Xiangdong, chairman, VATS Group and VATS Liquor. "China is the fifth largest wine consumption market globally and is projected to be a key driver of total global wine growth during the next five years. The vision of both VATS Liquor and Constellation is to build Robert Mondavi to the number one imported premium wine brand in China.
The deep understanding of Chinese consumer insights and the professional brand building capabilities of VATS Liquor is the key reason for this agreement.
"This strategic alignment with VATS Liquor is an exciting step forward in the execution of our international strategy, which is focused on establishing strong distribution of our powerful global wine and spirits brands in core markets around the world," said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. "VATS Liquor, a proven and successful brand builder in the alcohol beverage industry, is the right strategic partner for us to work with to build our Robert Mondavi brand portfolio in China due to its vast industry experience, established market relationships and deep knowledge of the Chinese consumer. This long-term agreement with VATS Liquor demonstrates our commitment to this region and to investing in our brands."
Considered by many to be the "father of American wines", Robert Mondavi was a pioneer of the modern California wine industry and is recognized for putting California wines in the company of the great wines of the world. For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has produced superior wines from exceptional vineyards in the Napa Valley. Mr. Mondavi also created Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi for everyday enjoyment and Robert Mondavi Private Selection to celebrate the diversity of California's winegrowing regions.
"Most American wines have very little brand recognition in China, however the Robert Mondavi name is recognized as a synonym for quality, craftsmanship and taste," said Jay Wright, president, Wine and Spirits Division, Constellation Brands. "Through VATS Liquor's distribution network, Constellation will leverage that recognition and capitalize on this unique opportunity to increase exports of California wine and build brands through the Robert Mondavi name. With the deep roots we are cultivating, we intend to shape this important market and make these wines available to more Chinese consumers."
*Based on net sales calculated using Impact Databank, 2013 and company data.
About Vats Liquor
VATS Liquor is a strong and trusted brand building and distribution business for authentic brands in China, It is the agent and distributor of Maotai, Wuliangye, Zhenjiu, Xiangjiao, Robert Mondavi, Alun's Choice, Lafite, Laphroaig whiskey, and some other premium alcohol beverages from China and around the world. VATS Liquor was established in 2005 by Mr. Wu, the same founder of VATS Group, the top wine and spirits producer and distributor with assets over 10 billion RMB, 15 alcoholic products manufacture entities, 18,000 employees, and annual revenue around 7 billion RMB. The management philosophy of VATS Liquor is to provide professional product options, safe system management of authentic liquors, and quality services. With average 30% annual growth rate, VATS Liquor has built a multi channel distribution network serving consumers across the country including more than 500 chain stores, and 200 trial outlets in 28 provinces, cities and autonomous regions, with annual revenue around 2.1 billion RMB and a network of stores serving consumers all across the country. Official website: http://www.vatsliquor.com/
About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B) is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. In 2013, Constellation was one of the best performing stocks in the S&P 500. Constellation is the number three beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands including Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo and Pacifico. Constellation is also the world's leader in premium wine selling great brands that people love including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Rex Goliath, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and Jackson-Triggs. The company's premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.
Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand-building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, sales in approximately 100 countries, about 40 facilities and approximately 6,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, visit www.cbrands.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The word "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These statements may relate to business strategy, future operations, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties, including the strategic agreement and the demand for wine in China. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and Constellation Brands undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Robert Mondavi Winemaker Genevieve Janssens, Chairman Wu Xiangdong, VATS Liquor and Jay Wright, President, Wine & Spirits Division, Constellation Brands, celebrate an agreement signed by both companies to distribute the three tiers of the Robert Mondavi family of brands in China. The announcement was made today at the Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair in China.