IPO Edge, in partnership with The Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association, hosted a live panel and virtual tasting with Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BSPE) and Vintage Wine Estates on Thursday, April 15 at 4 PM EDT. The live event features Bespoke Capital CEO Mark Harms, Vintage Wine Estates President Terry Wheatley, Vintage Wine Estates Brand Ambassador Katy Long, and HEB Business Unit Director David Duran.
IPO Edge Editor-in-Chief John Jannarone moderated the video session, which ran approximately two hours and included a public Q&A with the audience.
Bespoke Capital, a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, has agreed to merge with VWE in a transaction that values the business at $690 million with no debt. As IPO Edge wrote recently, the company represents a rare pure-play bet on the category and an established player with actual earnings – setting it apart from may recent SPAC deals. The company was founded by CEO Pat Roney two decades ago and he will be joined by former Diageo CEO Paul Walsh as Chairman, who will bring extensive industry knowhow.
Discussion topics include:
- Details of the merger between Bespoke and VWE
- The direct-to-consumer opportunity and VWE’s Shareholder Passport Program
- Trends in the wine market and how VWE can benefit
- The unusual opportunity to invest in a pure-play wine business
- M&A in the fragmented wine industry
- Exclusive brand deals with national retailers
- Focusing on the fastest-growing segment of the wine market to maximize sales
- Millennial opportunities such as single serve wine formats
The event also dived deeper into some of Vintage Wine Estate’s luxury wineries, including Clos Pegase Napa Valley, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, and Girard Napa Valley. Wines in the virtual tasting include:
- 2019 Clos Pegase Mitsuko’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros Napa Valley
- 2018 Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2018 Girard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
About the Panelists
President, Vintage Wine Estates
Terry Wheatley has served as the President of VWE since 2018, overseeing all commerce channels and marketing for the Company, having joined VWE in 2014 when Canopy Management was acquired by VWE.
Mrs. Wheatley began her 30-plus year career in the wine and spirits industry at E.&J. Gallo. After 17 years at Gallo, Mrs. Wheatley assumed sales and marketing roles at Sutter Home/Trinchero Family Estate, ultimately leading the division as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
In 2008, Mrs. Wheatley founded her own wine brand creation, sales and marketing company, Canopy Management, leveraging her long-term relationships with the wine industry’s top buyers to bring a portfolio of innovative wine brands to market.
Well-known in the wine industry for her impact and creativity, Mrs. Wheatley has been recognized as a “2016 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink” by Fortune and Food and Wine Magazine, as well as “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2019.
Mrs. Wheatley is co-founder of Tough Enough To Wear Pink, the western community campaign to help families facing breast cancer, since 2004.
Mrs. Wheatley has served as Board Chair of CannaCraft, a large-scale cannabis manufacturer, since Dec., 2019.
CEO, BCAC and Managing Partner, Bespoke Capital Partners
Mark W.B. Harms is Chief Executive Officer of BCAC, and Managing Partner of Bespoke Capital Partners.
Prior to Bespoke, Mr. Harms founded GLP in 2004, where he is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. GLP has advised on over $60 billion of transactions to date, deploying over $500 million of capital, and developed an industry leading operating executive network with 75+ members.
Mr. Harms has completed over 130 advisory and principal transactions on four continents. Mr. Harms has extensive experience with leveraged debt, mezzanine and equity financing techniques in Europe and the U.S. with over $100 billion in completed transactions.
Prior to funding GLP, Mr. Harms worked at Oppenheimer as Managing Director and at CIBC World Markets as the founder and head of the Consumer Growth Group. Mr. Harms currently sits on the board of several of Bespoke’s portfolio companies. From 2014 to 2020 Mr. Harms was a non-executive director of 24 Hour Fitness, and was a Vice Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council from 2009 to 2014. He was also a non-executive director on a number of other charitable, educational and non for profit boards. Mr. Harms has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Brand Ambassador, Vintage Wine Estates
Katy Long serves as Vintner, Director of International, and Brand Advocate at VWE, working with diverse teams across the organization in aspects ranging from wine and spirits production to marketing and sales.
Mrs. Long has worked in the wine industry for nearly two decades with experience in production, sales, marketing, communications and education, including Far Niente Winery, Nickel & Nickel Winery, Meadowood Napa Valley and The Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits.
Mrs. Long leads VWE’s Angels Share Giving Campaign which provides support to local food banks in communities across the country.
Mrs. Long has served on the Board of Directors at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California, since April 2020.
Mrs. Long earned an AOS from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and earned a BS from New York University. Mrs. Long holds wine and spirits credentials including the Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, the Certified Specialist of Spirits and Certified Specialist of Wine credentials from the Society of Wine Educators.
Business Unit Director, HEB
Mr. Duran has been employed by HEB for 48 years. He led the reinvention of the alcohol business at HEB, making them the top Texas wine retailer. Mr. Duran has been recognized by Wine Spectator, The Texas Grape Growers Association, and many others over the years for his leadership in making Texas one of the top wine markets in the U.S.
Known as HEB’s “wine guy”, Mr. Duran is the Company’s face on HEB wine television commercials. He has hosted segments in wine regions across the globe, bringing the world of wine to HEB customers, educating and igniting a passion for wine that converts into sales.
Mr. Duran sits on numerous Boards within San Antonio including The Children’s Shelter, Teach for America and Chosen. He serves as Advisor on others and is active on fund development projects with the United Way, Alzheimer’s Association, Muscular Dystrophy and more.
Mr. Duran has won numerous people leadership, people development and Spirit of HEB awards over his career and has built a reputation for leading the most successful intern program in the company.
John Jannarone, Editor-in-Chief