Upstate NY drinks giant Constellation Brands in talks for ‘monster’ business deal –

Rochester, N.Y. — Constellation Brands, the Rochester-area company that is already one of the largest alcoholic drinks companies in the world, is reportedly in talks for a “combination” with the maker of Monster energy drinks.

A potential merger would combine two enormous beverage companies: Constellation is valued $44 billion and California-based Monster Beverage is valued at $48 billion, according to

Bloomberg was the first to report the possible deal. The report said the plans are not clear at this time.

“The exact structure of a potential tie-up couldn’t be immediately learned and it’s unclear whether discussions will lead to a full merger or asset deal,” the Bloomberg report said.

Constellation, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol STZ, is a major player across the alcohol spectrum. Its brands include Corona and Modelo beer; Ruffino and Robert Mondavi wine; Svedka vodka, Casa Noble tequila, and High West whiskey, among others.

Constellation was founded by Marvin Sands as the Canandaigua Wine Co. in the Finger Lakes in 1945. It became Constellation Brands in 2000, and as a publicly traded company has become a global giant in wine, spirits and beer, with more than 100 brands in its portfolio.

In 2018, it made a big move into the surging legal marijuana business. It has invested more than $4 billion in the Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth, giving it almost 40 percent of that company.

Yet some of its moves are on a smaller scale. In February 2019, for example, it purchased a minority stake in Black Button Distilling, a small but growing craft spirits maker in Rochester.

It is currently headquartered in the Rochester suburb of Victor, but recently announced plans to move its base to a building complex in downtown Rochester.

Monster Beverage is best known as the maker of energy drinks such as Monster Energy, Relentless and Burn. It was founded as Hansen’s in 1935 in Southern California and now trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol MNST.

Coca-Cola Co. is a major shareholder in Monster, and has an exclusive distribution deal for many of its brands. That could pose a problem in a potential Constellation/Monster deal, Bloomberg reported.

Don Cazentre writes for, and The Post-Standard. Reach him at, or follow him at, on Twitter or Facebook.

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