Kirchner and Company, Inc. acted as M&A Advisor to World Vintners Inc.
Rimsby, Ontario, 2 July 2008 – Andrew Peller Limited (the “Company”) (TSX: ADW.A) and (TSX: ADW.B) announced today that it had acquired 100% of the common shares of World Vintners Inc. (“WVI”), a producer and seller of high quality consumer-made wine kits. WVI’s sales for its most recently-completed financial year ended July 31, 2007 were approximately $12.0 million. The purchase price was approximately $9.0 million.
The acquisition brings to the Company a dedicated network of 75 franchised wine-on-premise and retail outlets under the Wine Kitz brand name. The Company remains committed to WVI’s franchisees and will invest in the network to enhance its marketing, service, and support. Franchisees will benefit from the Company’s market leadership, financial strength and reputation for quality and service. WVI also produces the popular Heron Bay brand sold through independent wine-on-premise and retail outlets across Canada.
“This acquisition significantly strengthens our consumer-made wine business, and enhances our presence in a number of markets,” commented John Peller, President and CEO.
“The addition of World Vintners complements our Vinceco and Winexpert businesses and strengthens our position as Canada’s largest producer and supplier of consumer-made wines. We expect this acquisition will generate enhanced business opportunities as well as economies of scale and synergies to increase our profitability,” added Rob Van Wely, President of the Company’s consumer-made wine business.
Andrew Peller Limited is a leading producer and marketer of quality wines in Canada. With wineries in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, the Company markets wines produced from grapes grown in Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, British Columbia’s Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys and vineyards around the world. The Company’s award-winning premium and ultra-premium brands include Peller Estates, Trius, Hillebrand, Thirty Bench, Croc Crossing, XOXO, Sandhill, Copper Moon, Calona Vineyards Artist Series and Red Rooster VQA wines. Complementing these premium brands are a number of popular priced products including Hochtaler, Domaine D’Or, Schloss Laderheim, Royal and Sommet. The Company also markets craft beer under the Granville Island brand. In addition, the Company owns and operates Vineyards Estate Wines and WineCountry Vintners, independent wine retailers in Ontario with more than 100 well-positioned retail locations. Andrew Peller Limited common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols ADW.A and ADW.B).
With a focus on serving the needs of all wine consumers, the Company produces and markets consumer wine making products through Winexpert, Vineco International Products and Wine Kitz. Its broad range of high-quality brands includes Selection, Vintner’s Reserve, World Vineyard, KenRidge, California Connoisseur, Island Mist, Niagara Mist and Heron Bay.
Certain statements in this news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including the “safe harbour provisions” of the Securities Act (Ontario) with respect to Andrew Peller Limited (‘APL’ or the ‘Company’) and its subsidiaries. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the growth of the business in light of the Company’s recent acquisitions; its launch of new premium wines; sales trends in foreign markets; its supply of domestically grown grapes; and current economic conditions. These statements are subject to certain risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The words “believe”, “plan”, “intend”, “estimate”, “expect” or “anticipate” and similar expressions, as well as future or conditional verbs such as “will”, “should”, “would” and “could” often identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this news release, the Company has made assumptions and applied certain factors regarding, among other things: future grape, glass bottle and wine prices; its ability to obtain grapes, imported wine, glass and its ability to obtain other raw materials; fluctuations in the U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rates; its ability to market products successfully to its anticipated customers; the trade balance within the domestic Canadian wine market; market trends; reliance on key personnel; protection of its intellectual property rights; the economic environment; the regulatory requirements regarding producing, marketing, advertising and labelling of its products; the regulation of liquor distribution and retailing in Ontario; the application of federal and provincial environmental laws; and the impact of increasing competition.
These forward-looking statements are also subject to the risks and uncertainties discussed in this release and other risks detailed from tine to time in the publicly filed disclosure documents of APL which are available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions which could cause actual results to differ materially from those conclusions, forecasts or projections anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company’s forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this release, and except as required by applicable law, Andrew Peller Limited undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances.
Andrew Peller Limited
Mr. Peter Patchet
CFO and EVP Human Resources
(905) 643-4131 Ext. 2210