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Constellation Inks Distribution Deal In Brazil, Touts Crown’s Strong Year

March 8, 2013

Constellation has inked a distribution deal that will see it enter the emerging market of Brazil. Looking ahead, Constellation brands like Robert Mondavi Winery, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Woodbridge, Inniskillin Ice Wine, Kim Crawford, Ruffino and Svedka will be handled in Brazil by Interfood Importação Ltda, one of the country’s leading wine importers. Interfood founder Gabriel Cury said, “changing consumer needs and Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics will boost demand for wine throughout the country and these agreements position both companies well.”

In other company news, Constellation says its Crown Imports joint venture with Grupo Modelo enjoyed solid progress in 2012, with its portfolio growing by an aggregate 4.7%. The Modelo Especial brand continued to surge, rising 20.6% to cross the 40-million-case mark, while Pacifico advanced by 8.5%. Crown’s flagship brand Corona Extra also had a positive year, rising 2% to surpass 100 million cases. On the down side, Victoria—which grew explosively out of the gate in 2010 and 2011—took a step back in 2012, slipping 1% to 2.9 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

Bill Hackett, Crown’s president, pointed to the group’s 11 consecutive quarters of growth, and said Crown’s long-term goal is to capture a 20% dollar share of the U.S. beer business (Crown currently has around a 7.5% dollar share, according to SymphonyIRI). Constellation has proposed to become Crown’s sole owner in a $1.85 billion deal, related to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20 billion play for the 50% of Grupo Modelo it doesn’t already own. Constellation and ABI continue to wrangle with U.S. regulators to secure those deals, however.


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