The portion of the Lenox business being sold had sales of $465 million for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2005. Lenox's key facilities are in Lawrenceville, NJ, Langhorne,
PA, Pomona, NJ, Kinston, NC, and Hagerstown, MD. The company employs approximately 2,850 people.
Goldman, Sachs and Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor for Brown-Forman in the transaction, while the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Ogden Newell & Welch law firms are providing legal counsel.
Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel's, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Canadian Mist, Fetzer and Bolla Wines, Korbel California Champagnes, Lenox, Dansk, and Gorham tableware and giftware and Hartmann Luggage.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This news release contains statements, estimates, or projections that constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words "expect," "believe," "intend," "estimate," "will," "anticipate," and "project," and similar expressions identify a forward-looking statement, which speaks only as of the date the statement is made. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
We believe that the expectations and assumptions with respect to our forward-looking statements are reasonable. But by their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that in some cases are out of our control. These factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from Brown-Forman's historical experience or our present expectations or projections. Here is a non-exclusive list of such risks and uncertainties:
-- changes in general economic conditions, particularly in the United States where we earn the majority of our profits;
-- a strengthening U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, especially the British Pound;
-- reduced bar, restaurant, hotel and travel business in wake of other terrorist attacks, such as occurred on 9/11;
-- developments in the class action lawsuits filed against Brown-Forman and other spirits, beer and wine manufacturers alleging that our advertising causes illegal consumption of alcohol by those under the legal drinking age, or other attempts to limit alcohol marketing, through either litigation or regulation;
-- a dramatic change in consumer preferences, social trends or cultural trends that results in the reduced consumption of our premium spirits brands;
-- tax increases, whether at the federal or state level;
-- increases in the price of grain and grapes;
-- continued depressed retail prices and margins in our wine business because of our excess wine inventories, existing grape contract obligations, and a world- wide oversupply of grapes; and
-- the effects on our Consumer Durables business of the general economy, department store business, response rates in our direct marketing business, and profitability of mall outlet operations.