Home Industry News Releases Wine Symposium to Examine Wine Industry’s Hottest Financial Trend: Mergers & Acquisitions

Wine Symposium to Examine Wine Industry’s Hottest Financial Trend: Mergers & Acquisitions


Wine Industry Symposium(Napa, CALIF.) – At the 25th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium, next Monday, September 26 and Tuesday, September 27, 2016, one of the hottest topics set for both days of the conference is the issue of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in the American wine industry.

While the US wine industry has swiftly evolved over the past twenty-five years, expanding in both brands and markets, one of the hottest wine business trends is activity within mergers and acquisitions. Several wine industry financial experts will be speaking on the topic. On Monday, September 26 the “Mergers & Acquisitions” workshop will include insights from George Coope of Zepponi & Company, as well as Russ Joy of Patz & Hall, David Faris of Korbel & Bros. and Matt Dusi of Robert Hall Winery. On Tuesday, September 27 the issue will again be discussed through the “Developments in the U.S. Wine Industry, Mergers and Acquisitions” panel led by Robert Nicholson of International Wine Associates, along with Roger Nabedian of E&J Gallo Winery and Hugh Reimers of Jackson Family Wines.

Attendees will learn of the history of California M&A in the wine business, within the framework of the growth of premium wine sales in the United States, and discussions about the increase in vineyard values, as well as recent winery and brand acquisitions.

Why is the M&A situation in the wine industry so hot? According to Robert Nicholson of International Wine Associates, “There are a number of factors that coincide with the growth of the U.S. wine market, including the fact that major and middle tier companies are making targeted acquisitions to broaden their portfolios, which will help them grow their businesses in the current competitive environment, as well as the fact the market growth has put pressure on supply, which has resulted in increasing vineyard values, and acquisitions by wineries that want to protect supply.”

Wineries and brands open to acquisition, can learn how to make their assets attractive. It takes a bit of planning and, according to Nicholson, there are several critical items to review including: data collection, balance sheets, expenses, financial statements, inventory, trademarks, estate and tax planning and market value of the business.

When asked about the difference in the M&A arena in the wine business now, versus five years ago, Nicholson commented, “In 2011 as we were climbing out of the Great Recession, there was modest M&A activity. Most transactions were smaller brand-only deals, and some were for discounted or distressed assets. Since then vineyard values have significantly increased in most super and ultra-premium AVAs. Plus, there has been strong U.S. wine market growth in the last few years which led to an increase in vineyard, winery and wine brand values, resulting in a wave of larger transactions in last 24 months.”

The 2016 Wine Industry Financial Symposium Program, with the theme of “Game Changers for the Next Twenty-Five Years,” will feature intense wine industry insights that will help attendees improve their businesses, presented by a dynamic line-up of wine business leaders in addition to the Mergers & Acquisitions panels, including Dr. Robert Smiley of UC Davis, who will present the 25th Annual Wine Industry Executive Survey. David Freed of The Silverado Group will present an overview of the Wine Industry. Keynote speaker Robert Trone of Total Wine & More will speak about the Changing Landscape of Retailers and Russell Miller of RBC Capital Markets in New York will present Wine 2020:  How to Think about the Future and Money. John Gillespie, Founder & CEO of Wine Opinions will present data on the iGeneration, followed by a panel led by the Glenn Proctor and Chris Welch of Ciatti Company, featuring Karl Wente of Wente Vineyards, presenting information about the current grape market and Harvest 2016. A panel on Selling Wine will feature, Jon Moramarco of BW166, Robert Trone of Total Wine and More, Curtis Mann of Raley’s, Daniel Grunbeck of Young’s Market and Michael Osborn of Wine.com.

The two-day event will begin with a lunch at noon on Monday, September 26,  followed by two sets of seminar sessions from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., followed by a SOLD OUT 25th Anniversary Celebration VIP Dinner at Inglenook Napa Valley that night. The first set of Seminars will cover: The State of the Art Tasting Room; Mergers and Acquisitions; Lessons from the Latest Wine Business Studies; and Deferred Compensation for Key Employees.  The second set will cover: The Future of Finance; Big Data in the Wine Business; Leveraging Online Media to Drive Incremental Sales; and The State of Water in California. The 25th Anniversary Celebration VIP Reception and Dinner at Inglenook Napa Valley will feature James Laube of Wine Spectator as special guest speaker.

The 2016 Wine Industry Financial Symposium event sponsors include: Aspect Consumer Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Bank of the West; BMO Harris Bank; BPM – Burr Pilger Mayer; Farm Credit (CoBank, American AgCredit, Farm Credit West); G&J Seiberlich & Co.; Live Oak Bank; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; MetLife Agricultural Finance; Moss Adams; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Prudential Agricultural Investments; Rabobank International & Rabobank, N.A.; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; Umpqua Bank; Union Bank; Wells Fargo Bank; Zepponi & Company; Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines. To become a sponsor for any of the Wine Industry Symposium Group events contact Waunice Orchid at 707.666.2525, send an email to [email protected] or visit the Sponsorship Page at WineSymposium.com.

About the Wine Industry Symposium Group

The founders of the Wine Industry Symposium Group met in early 1992 with the hope that by forming a new industry conference, they would create an open exchange of thoughts and ideas concerning financial aspects of the California wine industry.  The Wine Industry Financial Symposium was born. A couple of years later, in 1994, the group started a similar program, the Central Coast Insights Program, to fit the needs of that region. A year later, the Vineyard Economics Seminar was created for grape growers. Because of consistent globalization and consolidation in the wine business, the Wine Industry Symposium Group continues to operate with the mission of providing a critical platform for important communication and dialogue between the multiple facets of the wine business and the lending community. For more information visit www.winesymposium.com or call (707) 666-2525. Like the Wine Symposium Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WineSymposiumGroup and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wine_symposium.



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