Constellation Brands

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Constellation Brands, Inc.
Traded asNYSESTZ (Class A)
S&P 500 Component
PredecessorCanandaigua Brands Inc
Founded1945 (1945)
FounderMarvin Sands
United States
Number of locations
United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, Canada
Key people
Richard Sands
Rob Sands
(President and CEO)
ProductsWine, beer, and spirits
RevenueIncrease US$7.33 billion (2017)[1]
Increase US$2.40 billion (2017)[1]
Increase US$1.54 billion (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$18.60 billion (2017)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$6.88 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
8,700[2] (2017)
DivisionsBeer Division, Wine & Spirits Division

Constellation Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 company,[3] is an international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits. Constellation is the largest beer import company measured by sales,[4] and has the third-largest market share (7.4 percent) of all major beer suppliers.[5]

Based in Victor, New York, Constellation has about 40 facilities and approximately 9,000 employees. [6] The company has more than 100 brands in its portfolio. Wine brands include Robert Mondavi, Wild Horse Winery, Clos du Bois, Franciscan Estates, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Ruffino, and The Prisoner. Constellation's beer portfolio includes imported brands such as Corona, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, and Pacífico, as well as Ballast Point and Funky Buddha. Spirits brands include Black Velvet Canadian Whisky, Svedka Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.


The company was established in 1945 by Marvin Sands in the Finger Lakes region of New York as Canandaigua Industries, selling bulk wine to bottlers in the eastern United States.[7] In its first year, the company sold approximately 200,000 gallons of wine and had gross sales of $150,000.[8]

The company was incorporated as Canandaigua Wine Company, Inc. in 1972 and went public in 1973.[9] Marvin's son Richard Sands became president in 1993 and CEO in 1996.[7] In 1999, company founder Marvin Sands died following a brief illness.[7]

In 2000, the company changed its name to Constellation Brands, Inc. to reflect the scope of the company and its range of brands.[8] In 2007, Rob Sands was named president and CEO.[10]

In 2013, Constellation acquired Grupo Modelo's U.S. beer business from Anheuser-Busch InBev. The transaction included full ownership of Crown Imports LLC which provided Constellation with complete, independent control of all aspects of the U.S. commercial business; a brewery in Nava, Mexico; exclusive perpetual brand license in the U.S. to import, market and sell Corona and the Modelo brands and the freedom to develop brand extensions and innovations for the U.S. market.[10]

In 2014, Constellation finalized a joint venture with Owens-Illinois and completed the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch InBev's glass production plant, located adjacent to the company's brewery in Nava, Mexico.[11]

On October 30th 2017, Constellation agreed to pay about C$245 million ($191 million) for a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a Canadian seller of medicinal-marijuana products.[12] At the time of the agreement, Constellation became the first Fortune 500 company and the first major alcoholic beverage maker to take a minority stake in a marijuana business.[13]

In August 2018, the company announced that it would invest an additional US$4 billion in Canopy Growth Corporation in advance of the legalization of recreational Cannabis in Canada which will commence on Oct. 17, 2018. The investment will increase its share in the Canadian Company to 38%. Canopy Growth president Bruce Linton said the additional funds would be used for international expansion and that future marketing plans included products such as cannabis-infused beverages and sleep aids.[14][15]

In March of 2019, Bill Newlands became CEO, succeeding Robert Sands.[16]

Wine fraud[edit]

In 2010, a French court in Carcassonne, France, convicted 12 wine traders and producers for selling fake Pinot noir wine to buyers in the US, amongst them Constellation, in a scheme that lasted from January 2006 to March 2008. Constellation later faced and settled a class action lawsuit because it "should have known" that the wine was fake.[17]


Constellation Brands moved its headquarters to a 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) building on 11 acres (4.5 ha) in Victor, New York in 2009

Constellation Brands has expanded by acquiring other drinks companies.

In 1987, the company purchased the Manischewitz winery in Canandaigua, New York, and continues to license the Manischewitz name from R.A.B. Foods.[18]

In 1998 it acquired Matthew Clark plc in the United Kingdom, and after selling off its cider business, the Gaymer Cider Company, sold half of the business to Punch Taverns. Acquisitions include BRL Hardy (Australia)[19] and Nobilo (New Zealand) in 2003; Robert Mondavi Corp. for $1 billion in 2004;[20] Vincor International, Canada's largest wine company, for $1.44 billion in 2006;[21] Spirits Marque One (owner of Svedka Vodka) in 2007;[22] and Beam Wines Estates, the wine operations of Fortune Brands (which included several major brands such as Clos du Bois) for $885 million in 2008.[23] The company later moved to a more premium wine portfolio, divesting Almaden Vineyards, Inglenook Winery, and the Paul Masson winery in Madera, California, in 2008,[24] and its value spirits portfolio to the Sazerac Company in 2009.[25]

In June 2013 the company, which formerly imported Corona and other Modelo brands to the United States, acquired the US rights to those brands as a part of an anti-trust settlement permitting Modelo's acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev, along with a brewery in Piedras Negras, Mexico. It now produces its own versions of those products for the US, with Modelo serving all other countries.

In December 2015, Constellation announced the $1 billion acquisition of Ballast Point Brewing of San Diego.[26]

In August 2017, Constellation announced the acquisition of Funky Buddha Brewery of Oakland Park, Florida.[27]

In February 2019, Constellation announced it had acquired a minority stake in Black Button Distilling, a craft spirits distillery in Rochester, NY.


  1. ^ a b c d e Constellation Brands, Incorporated (April 27, 2017), FORM 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended February 28, 2017, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, File 001-08495, Film 17786897, retrieved 2017-06-06
  2. ^ "Constellation Brands". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  3. ^ "Constellation Brands". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  4. ^ Brewers Association. "Sales of the leading beer import companies in the United States in 2015 (in million U.S. dollars)". In Statista - The Statistics Portal. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  5. ^ Beer Marketer's Insights. "Beer Marketer's Insights - Major Supplier Shipments and Share: 2015 vs 2014". Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  6. ^ Constellation Brands. "Company Profile" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  7. ^ a b c Fisher, Lawrence (1999-08-31). "Marvin Sands, Winery's Chairman, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  8. ^ a b Constellation Brands. "Constellation Brands | History and Heritage". Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  9. ^ Paulson, Lynn. "The birth of Canandaigua Industries". Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Doob, Rachael (2015-02-22). "Get To Know Robert Sands, President of Constellation Brands". Grape Collective. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  11. ^ Towns, Chip (2014-12-19). "O-I enters joint venture to co-own glass plant". The Blade. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  12. ^ Bovaird, Charles (2017-10-31). "This Is the First Fortune 500 Marijuana Stock". Investopedia. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  13. ^ Nurin, Tara. "When It Comes To Weed, One Major Alcohol Company Decides If You Can't Beat 'Em Join 'Em". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  14. ^ "Corona beer maker Constellation ups bet on cannabis with $4 billion investment in Canopy Growth". August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  15. ^ "'This is rocket fuel': Constellation Brands spending [C]$5 billion to boost stake in Canopy Growth". August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "French Pinot Noir Class Action Settlement". February 7, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "Manischewitz wine - heritage - history". Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
  19. ^ Shaw, John (January 18, 2003). "Constellation Brands Agrees to Buy Australian Winery". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  20. ^ "Mondavi to Join Constellation in $1 Billion Deal". Wine Spectator. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  21. ^ "Constellation To Buy Vincor for $1.09 Billion". USA Today. April 3, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  22. ^ "Constellation Brands to Buy Svedka Vodka". Reuters. February 6, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  23. ^ Sam Zuckerman (November 13, 2007). "Constellation Brands buys several California premium wine labels". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  24. ^ Styles, Oliver (January 23, 2008). "Constellation sells Inglenook, Almaden and Paul Masson winery, reports 832 million dollar loss".
  25. ^ Gershberg, Michele (January 12, 2009). "Constellation Sells Value Spirits for $334 Mln". Reuters UK. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  26. ^ "Constellation to Buy Ballast Point Brewing for $1 Billion". November 16, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2018 – via
  27. ^ "Craft Brewer Funky Buddha Joins Constellation Brands". Nasdaq. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.

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