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Private Label Winemaker Truett-Hurst Seeks $42 Million In IPO

April 5, 2013

Sonoma-based winery Truett-Hurst is poised to go public, announcing plans this week for an initial public offering on Nasdaq of 2.25 million shares valued around $42 million. A fast-growing private-label wine producer that supplies prominent retail chains like Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Total Wine & More—which together account for around 85% of its gross wholesale revenues—Truett-Hurst saw net sales more than double to $12.7 million in its last fiscal year, ended this past June.

In its prospectus, Truett-Hurst pointed out the relatively small share of private label wines in the U.S.—they account for only around 4% of the U.S. wine market, compared with 19% in the U.K. and 16% in Australia—and the corresponding room for growth in the segment. In addition to its private label business, the company markets wines under the Truett-Hurst, VML, Healdsburg Ranches and Bradford Mountain brands.

Truett-Hurst co-founder and CEO Phil Hurst told Shanken News Daily last fall the company has high hopes for one of its recent projects with Safeway, a line called Evocative Wrapped Bottles that includes wines themed for different occasions, such as Schuck’s (for seafood pairing) and Fuchsia (billed as a “Girls Gone Summer” wine). Hurst predicted sales of up to 200,000 cases for the line in its first 12 months on the market.

Other innovation projects underway include what the company calls the “first ever paper wine bottle,” which will debut in the second half of this year, and a proprietary, square-shaped glass bottle. Truett-Hurst has partnered with Total Wine & More to produce and sell 40,000 cases of the latter (generating $3.5 million in sales) in its first 12 months in-market, which will begin this spring.

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