US: Mondavi counters press speculation

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The Robert Mondavi Corp. today reaffirmed its expectations that it will realise its previously stated estimates of between US$400m and US$500m in after-tax proceeds from its planned asset divestitures.

"Based on our previous due diligence valuation work with advisors and the high level of interest we are receiving from a number of parties, we continue to believe these values are achievable under current market conditions," said Greg Evans, the company's president and CEO.

"We have read in certain newspapers and reports sceptical views of these asset valuation assumptions. While we are still early in the process and there are no guarantees of proceeds, the fact remains that the process of arriving at the valuation was diligent and involved the board of directors and its advisors. Additionally, when our board made its decision, there was discussion, but not dispute, over the potential range of value that could be realised from the assets," said Evans.

"In addition, at no time did the board consider any tax-free exchange of company stock for these assets, nor did the board agree to any so-called 'sweetheart' deal for these assets to members of the Mondavi family," said Evans.

"To be clear, the board of directors is committed to its fiduciary responsibility to evaluate any and all transactions related to the divestiture of our assets in order to realise maximum shareholder value."

Ted Hall, the board's chairman, said: "We are engaged in a deliberate and thoughtful process and are committed to creating present and future value to all of our shareholders while adhering to the best practices of corporate governance. We know what needs to be done, and we are convinced that our course of action will be beneficial to our shareholders, customers and employees."

Sectors: Wine

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