Yesterday afternoon, Constellation Brands Beer Division prexy Paul Hetterich and chief commercial officer Bruce Jacobson met with two of its larger longtime SoCal distribs, Ace (Anderson family) and Triangle (Heimark) family. The message: the same as it was to Markstein, Bev Co i.e. “we want you out.” In about 30 days. Constellation reportedly meeting with a 3d distrib in Southern Calif today.
At Meeting, Mgt Sez Letter Coming; Must Sell Within 30 Days “Nobody has offered to buy my Constellation business,” Triangle ceo Peter Heimark told INSIGHTS about this meeting. “I have not offered to sell my Constellation business,” he added. But Constellation “made it very clear that they don’t want me to be their partner.” In fact, execs told him that he would be receiving a letter Friday that said he has 30 days to sell his biz. Or else be terminated. INSIGHTS understands meetings with Ace and 3d distrib will deliver same stark message.
Recall, Constellation contract has provision that sez if Constellation terminates distrib without cause, distrib has right to sell within 30 days or Constellation only has to pay 2x gross profit. Tho Markstein believed Constellation “did not have a contractual or legal right to terminate ‘without cause’ as they claim,” as ceo Travis Markstein wrote, would take yrs to litigate with uncertain outcome. So it took over $70 mil from Reyes Bev Group for around 2 mil cases. Will this group of distribs come to same conclusion or might one or more of them choose to fight?
(This is just an excerpt from the first article INSIGHTS published on this story, which continues to evolve.)