"From our first meeting onward your team managed the process with our goals and needs foremost in our discussions and the subsequent search/negotiations with potential buyers. You were honest and forthright, strong when necessary, and yet there was a sense of intimacy which provided the kind of hand-holding we needed to stick to the task at hand. It was the right combination of professional counsel and individual attention that brought this all to completion."
– Bob Betz, Founder of Betz Family Winery
Betz Family Winery, LLC was founded in 1997 by veteran wine professionals Bob and Cathy Betz as a boutique Washington winery. Betz had since established itself as one of the states' iconic brands, producing superior quality Bordeaux and Rhone varietal red wines. They played a significant role in the growing international recognition of Washington wines, thereby creating a unique opportunity for further growth of the brand.
Strategic buyers with well-developed distribution systems had difficulty rationalizing investment in a low-volume producer of premium priced varietals. Many prospective buyers also viewed the eventual departure of Bob Betz from the winery bearing his name as a negative. There was also the continuing matter of balancing consumer-direct sales against distributor requirements as an issue for some strategic buyers.
Exvere carefully researched and targeted a select group of qualified candidates. Over several months, a disciplined marketing approach narrowed the field to three motivated buyers who presented proposals. This process provided the owners a realistic range of terms and conditions to assist their decision-making and the security of having back-up options.
The transaction was structured as an asset purchase that included both the winery and a private residence located on the same parcel. Bob Betz accepted a long-term contract as winemaker and consultant to support a well-conceived succession plan based on maintaining and growing the brand at a realistic rate. The Betz family achieved their stated goals of leaving their legacy in good hands while having more time to enjoy the rewards of many years' effort.