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Constellation in talks with Australian firm

Constellation Brands Inc. is considering selling certain assets and combining parts of its Australian and U.K. wine operations with a leading Australian wine company in exchange for a substantial but non-controlling interest in the combined entity.

The Victor-based firm said the potential combination between Constellation and Australian Vintage Ltd. could better position the combined entity for success. If a transaction occurred, the combined companies would operate as a stand-alone wine company and be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Constellation leaders said, but noted nothing has been finalized.

"The Australian wine industry is facing unprecedented negative operating conditions," said Robert Sands, Constellation president and CEO, in a statement. "This combination would create a more competitive entity better positioned to deal with the current environment."

Constellation ranked 13th on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of manufacturers with 634 local employees.

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. Obtain permission to this reprint article.



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