US: Jackson pips Huneeus family to Legacy

By | 21 August 2006

Jess Jackson has completed the acquisition of bankrupt wine company Legacy Estate.

The owner of Jackson Family Wines confirmed the purchase late last week. While financial details were not released, Jackson bid US$97m for Legacy's assets at a hearing last Wednesday (18 August).

The bid had been dependent on Jackson buying out a six-year deal Legacy held with marketing and sales company Wilson Daniels. Jackson confirmed on Friday that his family has resolved the agreement with Wilson Daniels, leaving him clear to complete the purchase. Again, financial deals of the settlement were not disclosed.

Jackson and his co-owner and wife, Barbara Banke, will take ownership of Legacy's Freemark Abbey, located in St. Helena in the Napa Valley, Arrowood Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma County's Glen Ellen and Byron Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria appellation of Santa Barbara County.

"Each of these wineries makes strategic sense for us," said Banke. "Freemark Abbey represents a long history of outstanding winemaking from one of the most desirable locations within the Napa Valley. The Byron winery is a beautiful, state-of-the art facility contiguous with our Cambria Estate Winery on the Santa Maria Bench. With this acquisition, we are uniting two of the premier vineyard holdings in the Santa Maria Valley."

Last November, Legacy and its owner, Connaught Capital Partners, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after Legacy defaulted on loans associated with its acquisition of the Arrowood and Byron wineries from Constellation Brands.

Jackson's bid trumped an offer of US$94m from FAB Acquisition Co., a joint venture between the Huneeus family and Bill Price, a founding partner of the Texas Pacific Group.

Sectors: Wine

Companies: Constellation

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