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Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Mergers brewing in wine industry

August 30, 2000

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U.S. wine companies' share prices climbed Tuesday after two foreign firms announced plans to acquire California-based vintners, fueling speculation about further takeovers.

Foster's Brewing Group Ltd., Australia's largest brewer, said Tuesday it would buy Beringer Wine Estates Holdings Inc. for $1.46 billion and debt.

Beringer shares were up more than 22 percent on Nasdaq to $55 1/2, after Foster's offered $55.75 per share.

The deal came a day after wine producer R.H. Phillips Inc. said it would be acquired by Vincor International Inc., Canada's leading producer and marketer of wines and related products, for $7 a share.

Shares of Esparto, Calif.-based R.H. Phillips jumped $2 1/16 to $6 13/16 Monday and rose to $6 27/32 Tuesday.

"Given the highly fragmented nature of the wine industry, we expect ongoing consolidation," analyst Kristine Koerber said in a research note.

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