Brown-Forman has announced the sale of its Bolla and Fontana Candida Italian wine brands to Italian company Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV).
Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga said the decision reflects the company’s evolving portfolio strategy and a continuation of its efforts to focus the time and resources of the company on their best opportunities for growth and shareholder returns. He said: “We’re proud of the work that our employees and partners placed behind the Italian wines, and we will certainly miss the brands.”
Brown-Forman, which has marketed Bolla wines since 1968, acquired a minority interest in the brand in 1972 and by 2000 owned the Bolla trademark and business outright. Brown-Forman has owned the Fontana Candida wine trademark since 1987. GIV has produced the Fontana Candida wine for Brown-Forman since 1987 and began producing Bolla wines for Brown-Forman in 2006.
“Both Bolla and Fontana Candida were nice brands for Brown-Forman over many years, and we’re pleased they will continue on in the capable hands of GIV. We wish Bolla, Fontana Candida, and GIV the very best in their future brand building efforts,” added Varga.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in December and GIV will assume responsibility for Bolla in all markets outside of the United States on 1 January 2009. In the United States, both Bolla and Fontana Candida will be transferred to GIV no later than April 30. Effectively, Brown-Forman will serve as an agent for these brands in the US until the transfer is completed.
Brown-Forman’s brands include Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Canadian Mist, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve.