SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP’s (“K&L”) San Francisco office represented The Wine Group LLC in its entry into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Golden State Vintners, Inc. at a cash price of $8.25 per share. The transaction is valued at approximately $111 million. K&L partner Timothy McCann led the representation with the assistance of partner Ron West and associates Paul Cancilla, James Prenton and Erin Murphy.
The battle to acquire Golden State Vintners was often heated. Golden State had originally announced its intention to “go private” at $3.25 per share. In January 2004, Golden State invited The Wine Group to make an offer after the latter had expressed an interest in an acquisition. Golden State’s CEO then began bidding against The Wine Group. “The deal was interesting on multiple levels,” commented McCann. “Golden State has a dual class stock structure, so the board and the majority stockholder had to be convinced that The Wine Group’s offer was superior–even though they knew the CEO and didn’t know The Wine Group. In the end, The Wine Group secured the acquisition that it wanted and Golden State’s stockholders received over 2.5 times the original going-private stock price.”
Golden State Vintners is the largest outsourcing supplier of premium wines for the branded wine industry. It owns and operates five regional wineries throughout the state of California, and own 5,000 acres of grape vineyards. Golden State Vintners’ reach also extends globally by shipping wines to more than 30 countries around the world.
The Wine Group is a San Francisco-based, management-owned company that produces such well known brands as Concannon, Glen Ellen, Corbett Canyon, Franzia, Foxhorn, Mogen David, Casarsa, Austin Vale, Morassutti and Tribuno. Founded in 1981 by a management buy-out of the wine assets of The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, The Wine Group is currently the nation’s third-largest wine producer.
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart serves a dynamic and growing clientele in regional, national and international markets that includes representation of over half of the FORTUNE 100. Currently more than 700 lawyers in 10 offices, K&L’s practice embraces three major areas–litigation, corporate and regulatory–and related fields. For more information, please visit www.kl.com.