Brown-Forman to buy tequila business


MarketWatch – 08/28/2006

Expansion bid puts $876 million price tag on Casa Herradura .

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) - Brown-Forman Corp. said Monday it's buying the assets of a Mexican tequila maker for about $876 million to boost its international presence, and buy into one of the fastest growing spirits categories.

Under terms of the deal for Grupo Industrial Herradura, Brown-Forman will buy Herradura and El Jimador tequilas and the New Mix tequila-based ready-to-drink brand. Other assets included in the purchase are tequila production facilities and a sales-and-distribution organization in Mexico.

The Louisville, Ky., company, which owns Jack Daniel's whiskey, Finlandia vodka and Fetzer wines, said it hopes the deal will help boost its profile with the growing Hispanic population in the U.S. The purchase will be financed with cash and debt. Lehman Brothers acted as financial adviser to Brown-Forman, while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Creel Garcia-Cuellar y Muggenburg provided legal counsel to Brown-Forman. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith acted as financial adviser for Casa Herradura and Juan Jaime Petersen Farah, Eduardo Fernandez Agraz, and Michel Dyens & Co. acted as advisers to the board. Jones Day and Caraza y Morayta provided legal counsel for Casa Herradura. Guillermo Romo Romero acted on behalf of his father, Jose Guillermo Romo de la Pena.

Michel Dyens