For fans of the corporate machinations in the beverage industry, there is no greater drama than Constellation Brands (STZ). Buying & selling, hiring & firing, and let’s not forget their much ballyhooed foray into marijuana. Now, when most thought the great show was in intermission, Constellation just announced a new star in their portfolio: Montanya Distillers.
According to a press release, Constellation acquired a minority stake in the Colorado-based rum make on Tuesday (7.23). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that Constellation Brands Ventures’ Focus on Female Founders program was responsible for the move. Montanya’s founder, Karen Hoskins will continue on as President and CEO.
The eleven-year-old distillery’s range includes Montanya Platino, Montanya Oro, and Montanya Exclusiva. Currently the product is distributed in 40 states and 7 countries overseas, but the new deal is expected to increase those numbers.
Constellation has been busy for the last two years. As readers may recall, back in April 2019, the company executed a complex warrant swap to up their bet on marijauna legalization. The maneuver was the latest in a series of moves into the THC market that began in October 2017 when Constellation dropped a cool $191 million (US) to pick up a minority stake in Canopy Growth (CGC), a large, Canadian marijuana provider. In a second pickup, in August 2018, Constellation spent another $4 billion (US) to increase their existing stake in Canopy from 9.9% to 38%.
Also in April, the company shuttered their Ballast Point Brewing’s 80,000 sq. ft. “Trade Street” sour beer and barrel-aging plant in San Diego along with a brewpub in Temecula, California. In addition, the company 86’d plans to open a new brewpub in San Francisco’s bev mecca in the
Earlier that same months, the corporation announced a deal to sell 30 low-end wine and spirits brands and six wineries to E. & J. Gallo for $1.7 billion.
In October 2018, the company announced that its chief executive of 11 years, Rob Sands, will conclude his tenure in March, with Newlands taking the helm. Likewise, the summer re-up on cannabis was accompanied by layoffs of entire craft beer sales team. There is even precedent for the wine sales; in 2016, the conglomerate’s Canadian wine portfolio was sold to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for about C$1.03 billion ($775 million).