Altria Group subsidiary UST LLC will sell its Ste. Michelle Wine Estates business to private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management for $1.2 billion.
The cash deal, which also includes Sycamore taking on certain Ste. Michelle liabilities, is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
“We believe the transaction is an important step in Altria’s value creation for shareholders and allows our management team greater focus on the pursuit of our vision to responsibly transition adult smokers to a non-combustible future,” said Billy Gifford, Altria CEO. “Ste. Michelle and its talented employees have built an outstanding portfolio of premium wine brands, and we wish them future success.”
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David Dearie, Ste. Michelle’s president and CEO, added that St. Michelle is well positioned to drive the next phase of its growth.
Altria is the No. 22 publicly owned consumer goods company. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include such tobacco companies as Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company and John Middleton Co. It also holds exclusive U.S. commercialization rights to the IQOS Tobacco Heating System and Marlboro HeatSticks; has an equity investment in JUUL Labs; and has equity investments in Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and Cronos Group, a Canadian cannabinoid company.