PNC Equity Partners has acquired The Country Vintner Inc., an Ashland, Va.-based fine wines distributor. No financial terms were disclosed.
PNC Equity Partners, II, L.P., announced today the acquisition of The Country Vintner, Inc. Headquartered in Ashland, VA, The Country Vintner (“TCV”) is the second largest distributor of fine wines in the United States and the market leader in the Mid-Atlantic franchise states. TCV’s business model focuses on providing on-premise retailers (“white tablecloth” restaurants), off-premise retailers and chain retailers with a diverse mix of more than 500 wine labels from around the world. Senior debt was provided by Bank of America, and subordinated debt was provided by BB&T Mezzanine Capital Partners.
“We saw TCV as an opportunity to own a market leader among independent fine wine distributors and a platform to continue consolidation of a fragmented and growing niche with high barriers to entry. TCV has a long history of expansion into new territories, identifying and executing acquisitions, expertise in direct sourcing and brand development, and a long-standing and diverse customer base,” said Jonathan Lewis, Vice President of PNC Equity Partners. Founded in 1980, The Country Vintner has developed an outstanding reputation for knowledgeable salespeople, reliable, on-time delivery with minimal product damage, and an impressive brand portfolio.
“TCV fits squarely into PNC Equity Partners’ criteria of investing in niche market leaders and allows us to leverage our history of success in value-added distribution. There are few companies in this sector that can match the breadth of TCV’s product offering, the depth of its sourcing capabilities and the quality and uniqueness of its products,” said Jack Glover, Partner of PNC Equity Partners. “We are confident in the company’s opportunities for additional growth and enthusiastic about partnering with a high quality management team.”
“PNC Equity Partners was the perfect partner. They understood the challenges and opportunities of the distribution side of our business but were also remarkably well versed in the unique economics and landscape of the wine industry. I was excited to partner with PNC Equity to take this business to its next phase of growth, and their experience in route-based distribution and track record of building businesses through strategic acquisitions should serve us well,” said David Townsend, Chief Executive Officer of TCV. “With their support, we look forward to continue expanding our geographic distribution footprint and further developing our wine sourcing capabilities and brand development, both of which should allow us to continue to gain share in our markets.”
Within PNC Equity Partners, the transaction was led by Jack Glover, Jonathan Lewis and Michael Rost, who will represent the firm on the Company’s Board of Directors.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PNC Equity Partners (www.pncequity.com) invests in “important companies operating in micro-markets™,” making private equity investments of $10 million to $30 million in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and large minority financings of middle market companies with enterprise values between $25 million and $150 million across a variety of industry sectors, including niche manufacturing, value-added distribution, and outsourced services.