Fortune Brands to Buy Geyser Peak Winery
Fortune Brands Inc. said it will buy Geyser Peak Winery and an adjacent vineyard for $100 million, adding premium wines to its brands of liquor, including Jim Beam bourbon and DeKuyper cordials. The maker of Master Locks, Moen faucets and Titleist golf balls would buy the Sonoma County winery for $59 million in cash and would assume $35 million in debt. Fortune would pay an additional $6 million for a nearby vineyard property. The Geyser Peak Winery had 1997 sales of $35 million and produces about 500,000 cases of wine each year. Its brands include Geyser Peak Reserve and Venezia, FoxRidge and Canyon Road. Fortune had $4.43 billion in sales last year. The acquisition is the eighth by Fortune since the beginning of 1997. The company’s acquisitions have added $465 million to its annual sales. Fortune said it expects the winery purchase to have no effect on earnings this year and add to earnings in 1999. Shares of Old Greenwich, Conn.-based Fortune Brands rose 31 cents to close at $39.63 on the NYSE.