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Brown-Forman Agrees to Sell Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards

Brown-Forman (NYSE: BFA, BFB) announced that The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc. (“The Duckhorn Portfolio,” NYSE: NAPA), a premier wine group, will acquire Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards and related brand trademarks. In exchange, Brown-Forman will receive an ownership percentage of approximately 21.5% in The Duckhorn Portfolio and $50 million USD. The transaction, subject to certain customary closing adjustments and conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024.

“The Duckhorn Portfolio has a strong reputation for producing and marketing some of the world’s finest wines. Their understanding of the wine consumer, combined with a strong and diverse route to market, give Brown-Forman great confidence that Sonoma-Cutrer will continue to grow and thrive as part of the larger Duckhorn portfolio,” said Lawson Whiting, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brown-Forman Corporation.

Whiting continued, “Adding Sonoma-Cutrer to the Duckhorn portfolio will enhance one of the most respected wine portfolios in the industry. Moreover, we believe an equity stake in The Duckhorn Portfolio will be a valuable investment for Brown-Forman, allowing us to maintain a presence in the wine category while focusing resources on building our premium and super-premium spirits brands.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the Sonoma-Cutrer brand trademarks, facilities, and six vineyards in two appellations will join The Duckhorn Portfolio’s fine wine brands. Upon closing, Brown-Forman will receive two seats on The Duckhorn Portfolio’s Board of Directors.

Deirdre Mahlan, The Duckhorn Portfolio’s Interim President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson added, “Sonoma-Cutrer has a long history of excellence in crafting fine wines and will be an outstanding addition to our portfolio of luxury wines. We will be fortunate to welcome Brown-Forman, a storied industry leader, as a long-term shareholder and look forward to their representation on our board.”

Sonoma-Cutrer has been crafting wines since 1981 and is one of California’s best-known Chardonnay brands. Brown-Forman purchased the vineyards and brand trademarks in 1999. Sonoma-Cutrer is now the third-largest luxury Chardonnay brand in the U.S. by retail sales and the fastest growing major brand in the category, according to Circana, formerly IRI.

Brown-Forman’s financial advisor is Greenhill & Co., LLC and its legal advisors are Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP.

About Brown-Forman

For more than 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Ready-to-Drinks, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, The GlenDronach, Benriach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, Herradura, el Jimador, New Mix, Korbel, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Fords Gin, Gin Mare, and Diplomático Rum. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by approximately 5,600 employees globally and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit brown-forman.com.

About The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc.

The Duckhorn Portfolio is North America’s premier luxury wine company, with ten wineries, nine state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, seven tasting rooms, and over 1,100 coveted acres of vineyards spanning 32 estate properties. Established in 1976, when vintners Dan and Margaret Duckhorn founded Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards, today, our portfolio features some of North America’s most revered wineries, including Duckhorn Vineyards, Decoy, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Canvasback, Calera, Kosta Browne, Greenwing and Postmark.

Sourcing grapes from our own Estate properties and fine growers in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, California’s North and Central coasts, Oregon, and Washington State, we offer a curated and comprehensive portfolio of acclaimed luxury wines with price points ranging from $20 to $23 across more than 15 varieties and 39 appellations. Our wines are available throughout the United States, on five continents, and in more than 50 countries around the world.

Source: Brown-Forman

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