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Exclusive: Argentina’s Bemberg Family Takes Majority Stake in California’s WX Brands

August 2, 2021

Argentina’s Bemberg family, through its Terold company, has taken a majority stake in California’s WX Brands. The deal brings WX into the fold with Grupo Peñaflor, Argentina’s largest wine exporter, which accounts for 27% of the nation’s wine exports. WX Brands, according to Impact Databank, is the 19th largest wine marketer in the U.S., with 2020 volume of 2.1 million cases, up 23.5%. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, and WX president and CEO Peter Byck tells SND that WX will remain an independent entity going forward.

By joining with Terold, WX Brands has the opportunity to continue building momentum while charting international expansion with brands like Bread & Butter, which Byck highlights as a strong international performer. “[Terold] have demonstrated their ability to partner with world-class, leading companies like Heineken and AB InBev,” said Byck. “They partner with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle. That just continues us on our path of growth that we’ve been on. They also own vineyards in Napa Valley and Lodi. We think there are synergies.”

Day-to-day, Byck says, little will change at WX Brands. He adds that the company has no plans at this time to cut jobs and that the biggest changes will happen at the board level, where Terold will gain four seats—two members of the Bemberg family and two chosen from their wine businesses. Byck will remain on the board and as CEO, and will choose the final member.

According to Byck, Terold’s global presence, strong marketing, and export network made the company an especially attractive partner for WX going forward. “They have a lot of production capabilities that we think we can benefit from,” he says. “They’re extremely strong winemakers. Just sharing best practices from a wine-making perspective, a brand development perspective; there are a lot of things that we think are going to be beneficial.”

Bread & Butter is WX Brands’ leading label, reaching 880,000 cases on 88.4% growth last year, according to Impact Databank. For 2021, Byck says, Bread & Butter is up 54%, and is on track to reach 1.3 million cases this year. Overall shipments for WX are up 44% with international brands—like Colorblock and Criterion, among others—exceeding that at +49%. Among WX’s smaller brands, Byck points to Chronic Cellars, Our Daily Red, Baileyana, and True Myth as standouts in the company’s portfolio.

”This investment is the result of several years of work on international expansion. WX is an excellent complement to our current wine industry portfolio. We are convinced Bemberg Family Group and WX Brands will benefit greatly,” said Diego Herrera Sainz de Vicuña, member of the board of directors of Terold.—Shane English

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