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USA: Andretti Wine Group Announces Sale/Lease Back Agreement

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Chairman of the Board of Andretti Wine Group, Ltd. (AWG, Ltd.) Joseph E. Antonini announced a sale/lease back agreement between AWG, Ltd. and the Laird Family Winery at the company's annual meeting in Napa Valley, California.

Subject to due diligence, the agreement is expected to close by the end of December 2000.

"This arrangement will give our winery extra cash flow to pay down debt and build future wine inventories to reach our company goal of 50,000 cases," Antonini said.

The company also announced an estimated sales increase of 25 percent and an increase of 300 percent over last year's operating profit for 2000.

"We are pleased with our progress to date," said Mack Jennings, CEO of AWG, Ltd. "Current plans are under way to determine our rate of growth in the years ahead," he continued.

Vice Chairman of the Board Mario Andretti indicated, "This financial restructuring will open up more sales opportunities for us. We look forward to this challenge."

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