Constellation buys minority stake in Press seltzer

31st January, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

US firm Constellation Brands has acquired a minority stake in Press Premium Alcohol Seltzer through its Focus on Female Founders programme.

Press Premium Alcohol Seltzer carries an ABV of 4%

Constellation Brands’ corporate venture capital arm, Constellation Brands Ventures, launched its Focus on Female Founders programme in December 2018. The initiative aims to invest US$100 million in women-led alcohol businesses over the next decade.

Co-founded by Amy Walberg and her business partner Jim Sorenson in 2015, Press is said to have “achieved a top 10 position in the seltzer category”.

Press’ portfolio consists of Blackberry Hibiscus, Pomegranate Ginger, Lime Lemongrass, Grapefruit Cardamom, and the limited edition Blood Orange Chili. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Press has an ABV of 4% per 355ml can.

According to Constellation Brands, Walberg will remain CEO and the key decision-maker for Press.

Constellation Brands said in a statement: “As an independent, woman-led and co-owned brand made of natural ingredients, this quality premium seltzer fits Constellation’s Focus on Female Founders programme and the company’s overall high-end strategy.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Through the Focus on Female Founders programme, Constellation has also taken minority stakes in North Carolina-based spirits producer Durham Distillery and American rum producer Montanya Distillers. The firm has also invested in Texas-based bottled cocktail company Austin Cocktails and premium alcohol producer Vivify Beverages.

Earlier this month, Constellation Brands reported a 9% net sales decline for its wine and spirits business in the third quarter of its fiscal year.

In December, the group’s US$1.7 billion deal to sell 30 drinks brands to E&J Gallo Winery was altered after “competitive concerns” from a US government body.

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