Greenberg Traurig Advises AGR on Investment into Vintage Wine Estates


SAN FRANCISCO – September 19, 2018 – Greenberg Traurig, LLP assisted AGR Partners, LLC in an equity investment in Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. (VWE), a privately-held wine company based in Santa Rosa that produces and markets wines and spirits through a portfolio of exclusive brands. VWE is on a rapid-growth trajectory, recently adding Firesteed Vineyards in Oregon, Tamarack Cellars in Washington State, and various California brands.

VWE was formed in 2008 when Pat Roney, owner of Napa Valley’s Girard Winery, bought Sonoma Windsor Vineyards, regarded as the first direct-to-consumer brand in the wine industry. Today, VWE owns a collection of wineries and estates, marketing and selling its exclusive wines through a variety of traditional and new media channels, including direct-to-consumer, wholesale, tasting rooms, internet, wine clubs, and television.

AGR, which has a robust portfolio of investments in food and agribusiness companies, was represented by Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Marc. R. Baluda, Of Counsel Gregory H. Cooper, and Associate Jane Kim in the transaction.

Baluda focuses his practice on transactions and financings involving privately held middle-market and emerging growth companies seeking liquidity. He represents private equity funds in their acquisition and recapitalization of portfolio assets, foreign investors and conglomerates.

Greenberg Traurig has extensive experience in the international food, wine, and alcoholic beverage industries, representing some of the world’s leading wine, spirits, and beverage companies, including wineries, distributors and importers. The firm advises clients on U.S. and international issues related to: corporate product development; product labeling; promotions and advertising; federal and state consumer class actions; mergers and acquisitions; FDA and TTB compliance; food safety and recall issues; commercial contracts and distribution contracts; and intellectual property issues such as brand protection and management, patent and trademark disputes. The firm’s attorneys also counsel clients on competitor false advertising (Lanham Act) claims; regulatory and legislative issues; and tax issues. They handle complex matters in litigious and challenging jurisdictions such as California’s unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law (FAL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and Florida’s uniform deceptive trade practices act (FDUTPA). The team also has deep experience in state regulatory work.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Practice
Named a Law360 2015 “Food & Beverage Group of the Year,” Greenberg Traurig’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Practice represents a multidisciplinary practice in which members leverage deep experience in the industry to advise clients on transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters. The team serves the food, beverage, supplement, agribusiness, and agtech industries. Transactional areas range from product development and distribution, to M&A deals and commercial contracts, patent and trademark issues, as well as import and export agreements. Clients regularly turn to Greenberg Traurig to lead them through bet-the-product and bet-the-company litigation, including claims involving false advertising, consumer protection violations or class actions, and intellectual property disputes. The team also assists clients with advice on compliance for product labeling, safety, recalls, and advertising and marketing reviews.

About Greenberg Traurig
Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and is among the Top 20 on the 2017 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.