Sonoma County’s Vintage Wine Estates plans Eastern US expansion with Ohio acquisition

19 January 2022

Vintage Wine Estates, a locally based group of California and Pacific Northwest brands such as B.R. Cohn and Ace Cider, on Tuesday said it acquired a 120-year-old Midwest contract winery, brewery and distillery, with plans to make it an Eastern U.S. hub for production of ready-to-drink adult beverage mixes and cider.

The Santa Rosa-based company (Nasdaq: VWE) acquired Meier’s Beverage Group (Meier’s Wine Cellars Inc.) in the Cincinnati suburb of Silverton, Ohio, for $25 million split equally in cash and stock, according to the announcement and a regulatory filing. The deal also includes a $10 million earn-out clause if Meier’s pro forma earnings top current levels in the next three years.

The purchase price was valued at about eight times Meier’s 2021 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, according to the news release.

Started in the late 1800s, Meier’s is said to be the oldest and largest winery in that state. President Paul Lux will continue to lead the company, according to Vintage. That company produces over 800,000 cases annually from three bottling lines and a beverage canning line.

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