Canandaigua Brands Inc., (NYSE: CDB, CDB.B) today announced its intention to change its corporate name to Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ, STZ.B). The name Constellation, which is expected to become effective September 20, 2000 pending shareholder approval, better reflects the scope of a company that is the largest single-source supplier of beer, wines and distilled spirits in the U.S. Leading U.S. brands include Corona Extra, Black Velvet, Almaden, Arbor Mist and Estancia. In the United Kingdom, the company is a leading source of wine, cider and bottled water.

The Constellation Companies - Barton, Canandaigua Wine, Franciscan Estates and Matthew Clark - will retain their names and current operating structure, enabling the companies to maintain their closeness to their respective customers and markets to enable quick response to changing market conditions.

The company, with annual gross sales exceeding $3 billion, has grown from $213 million in gross sales in 1991, which represents an average annual compound growth rate of 35 percent.

"The new name, serves as a more apt description of a company that has grown in both the breadth and depth of its product lines as well as its geographic reach," said Richard Sands, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Through our diversified, balanced portfolio of leading brands, we bring consumers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. a number of leading brands, enabling the company to meet their tastes and preferences across several market and demographic sectors. The company has experienced dramatic expansion in size and profitability over the past several years. We intend to continue this positive pattern through a combination of internal growth and acquisitions, all supported by our Constellation Companies, brands and people who provide us with the stability, market presence and customer responsiveness that have made us one of the premier companies in our industry."

Leading U.S. and Canadian brands include:

  • Corona Extra, No.1 imported beer

  • Arbor Mist, No.1 fruit-flavored varietal wine

  • Almaden, No.2 box wine

  • St. Pauli Girl, No.2 imported German beer

  • Montezuma, No.2 tequila

  • Black Velvet, No.3 Canadian whisky

  • Paul Masson Grande Amber, No.3 brandy

In addition, Franciscan Estates, whose estates include Estancia, Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder, Quintessa, Simi and Veramonte, is among the top five fine wine companies in the U.S.

Leading U.K. brands include:

  • Stowells of Chelsea, No.1 wine

  • Blackthorn, No.2 in mainstream cider

  • Diamond White, No.1 fashion cider

  • QC, No.1 fortified British wine

  • Strathmore, No.1 in bottled sparkling water

Canandaigua Brands, Inc., headquartered in Fairport, New York, is a leader in the production, marketing, and distribution of beverage alcohol products in North America and the United Kingdom. The company markets leading brands of imported beers, wines, spirits, cider and bottled water, and is a leading drinks wholesaler in the United Kingdom. The company can be found on the Internet at http://www.cbrands.com.