Constellation Sells UK, Aussie Divisions to CHAMP

In widely anticipated move, Constellation Brands just announced it has signed an agreement to sell its Australian and U.K. business, (Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, CWAE), to CHAMP Private Equity of Sydney, Australia. Constellation will retain an approximate 20% interest in the business and receive cash proceeds of about $230 million, subject to closing adjustments. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of January 2011, is subject to customary and routine closing conditions. The transaction includes virtually all Constellation's Australian, U.K., and South African brands, wineries, facilities, vineyards, and the company's 50% interest in Matthew Clark, the U.K. wholesale joint venture. All CWAE employees will transfer with the business.

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