FLORENCE, Italy, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sam Bronfman II, Co-founder of Bacchus Capital Management, LLC, a San Francisco-based private equity firm providing strategic capital in the wine industry, Ettore Nicoletto, President, Consorzio Italia del Vino – AD Santa Margherita SpA, a consortium of high-end wine producers, and Francesco Zonin, EVP, Casa Vinicola Zonin SpA, Presidente, Zonin USA, Inc., the largest private wine growing and winemaking company in Italy, will participate on May 30 in a panel hosted by international law firm Withers LLP, focused on the topic of investment into the US wine market. The panel will specifically address the opportunities that exist for Italian wine producers to expand into the US through private equity investments or acquisitions. The discussion will be held in Florence, Italy to an audience of prominent Italian wine-making families, leading business owners and service providers. The moderator will be Paolo Panerai, an owner/investor in three significant Italian vineyards and Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Class Editori SpA, a leader in business and financial news, fashion, luxury and lifestyle information in Italy.
"The US is the largest wine market in the world, in terms of case sales and revenue, and it continues to grow," stated Sam Bronfman II, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Bacchus Capital Management. "Successfully navigating an increasingly complicated landscape remains challenging, and requires multifunctional expertise, creative partnerships, distribution relationships and taking an opportunistic approach."
Bronfman continued, "In 2011, US wine sales reached a record of 347 million cases or $33 billion at retail; of that $33 billion, more than 60% was Californian wine. The US wine market is dynamic, particularly on the west coast, and represents an outstanding investment opportunity – especially for those who know the sector and have experience and resources to leverage. At Bacchus, we have made several west coast investments, and are very pleased with the results of our portfolio companies. We are optimistic as to the future in terms of investment opportunities."
"Italian wine businesses are increasingly seeking to invest in the US," commented Roberta Crivellaro, Managing Partner of Withers in Milan. "Our clients are looking to the US as both an expansion opportunity for their current wines as well as seek to make an acquisition of a US vineyard through direct investment or a private equity fund. The perspective Bacchus provides is unique and ideal for our constituents. There is no substitute for experience."
"This program builds on our last session held in November, which focused on opportunities for Italian companies to expand in the US through acquisition," stated Gabriel Monzon-Cortarelli, Of Counsel at Withers LLP and the leader of the firm's US Italian Desk located in New York. "This roundtable is specific to the wine industry because we see a desire on behalf of our Italian-based wine business clients to expand oversees into the US, a wine market that is growing, particularly at the high end, and which represents true growth opportunities for family-owned businesses. We are thrilled to be able to benefit from Bacchus' first-hand knowledge and experience. Many of our clients are looking for strategic partnerships as a way to enter the US."
About Bacchus Capital Management
Bacchus Capital Management is an investment firm co-founded in 2007 by Sam Bronfman II, Peter S. Kaufman and Henry F. Owsley providing strategic capital and making equity investments in United States wineries and wine businesses. Quinton Jay and Rob Rupe are the Managing Directors.
Bronfman and Jay bring extensive wine industry experience through leadership positions at Seagram Chateau and Estate Wines, Diageo Global Wines, Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Etude, Quintessa and Bonny Doon Vineyard. Kaufman and Owsley are leading investment bankers specializing in credit analysis, valuation and restructuring.
Bacchus portfolio companies include: Qupe, a leading Central Coast winery; Pietra Santa, also of the Central Coast; Andretti Winery, a well-known Napa winery founded by Mario Andretti; Sbragia Family Vineyards, the award-winning Dry Creek Valley winery founded by legendary winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Wine by Joe, the 3rd largest wine producer in Oregon. The Company previously had a successful financing with Cameron Hughes Wine, one of America's fastest growing wine businesses.
For more information, visit www.bacchuswinefund.com
About Withers LLP
Withers LLP is an international law firm dedicated to the personal, business and philanthropic interests of successful individuals, their families and advisors. The firm provides advice to entrepreneurs, growth companies and multinationals on all aspects of business ventures, including corporate formation, tax, financing, securities law and employment matters. As the trusted advisor, Withers has a unique understanding of the importance of considering both individual and business goals at every stage of the business.
For more information, visit www.withersworldwide.com
SOURCE Bacchus Capital Management, LLC