Bank of the West, part of BNP Paribas Group, led the financing for the acquisition of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates by private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management, which purchased Ste. Michelle Wine Estates for $1.2 billion, making it the largest private equity purchase of a wine business in the United States, according to a press release.
Ste. Michelle is a winery in the Pacific Northwest with more than 30,000 acres of vineyards spread across three states. It produces 60% of Washington’s annual wine sales. Some of its brands include Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Erath and Stags Leap.
“Private equity financing is becoming increasingly complex and nuanced, especially in today’s dynamic, global marketplace. This deal is no exception,” Adam Beak, managing director and head of the beverage vertical at Bank of the West, said. “Our comprehensive understanding of the wine marketplace — from go-to-market approach to inventory management to the unique financial structures — were instrumental in this milestone transaction.”
“Bank of the West executed this complex transaction flawlessly,” Paul Fossati, managing director of capital markets at Sycamore Partners Management, said. “Bank of the West brings a unique combination of wine sector expertise, local market knowledge, flexible financial solutions and broad investor reach. Their holistic view of the ecosystem was critical in this effort.”