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Bank of the West Leads Financing for Largest Private Equity Purchase of a U.S. Wine Company

November 18, 2021, 07:52 AM
Filed Under: Wine Production

Bank of the West, part of BNP Paribas Group, led the financing for the acquisition of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management (SPM). SPM purchased Ste. Michelle Wine Estates for $1.2 billion, making it the largest private equity purchase of a wine business in the U.S.

Ste. Michelle is the largest winery in the Pacific Northwest, and third-largest premium winery in the U.S. With over 30,000 acres of vineyards spread across three states, it produces 60 percent of Washington's annual wine sales. Some of its popular brands include Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Erath, and in California, Stags Leap.

"Private equity financing is becoming increasingly complex and nuanced, especially in today's dynamic, global marketplace. This deal is no exception," said Adam Beak, Managing Director, Head of Beverage Vertical, Bank of the West. "Our comprehensive understanding of the wine marketplace—from go-to-market approach, to inventory management, to the unique financial structures—were instrumental in this milestone transaction."

"Bank of the West executed this complex transaction flawlessly," said Paul Fossati, Managing Director Capital Markets, Sycamore Partners. "Bank of the West brings a unique combination of wine sector expertise, local market knowledge, flexible financial solutions, and broad investor reach. Their holistic view of the ecosystem was critical in this effort."

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