WALLA WALLA

VINTNERS

“We were first introduced to Erik McLaughlin and Metis when we were looking at acquiring a different winery in the area.  It didn’t take us long to realize that no one knew the Northwest wine business better and we wanted them working on our side.  Their relationships allowed us to pursue options that we would not have otherwise known existed and their depth of industry knowledge helped us evaluate and analyze a variety of opportunities.  Ultimately they helped us develop the vision and plan for the future of Walla Walla Vintners that we believe is the ideal fit for our family.”  

 

- Scott Haladay, new owner of Walla Walla Vintners

CLIENT

The Haladay Family of Investors.

CHALLENGE

The Haladay family had a successful career in technology which culminated in the sale of their firm Viewpoint Construction Software to Bain Capital in 2014.  The family then established a Portland based family office called 10 Branch, through which various family members would pursue new ventures and investments.  After 20 years in technology Scott Haladay, the oldest son in the family business, turned his interest to wine.  He had several specific criteria for acquisition targets including location, size, brand strength, quality, personnel, profitability and scale-ability. 

PROCESS

After examining several wineries that were actively for sale, Scott Haladay retained Metis to represent the family and conduct a search and targeted acquisition of a premiere winery in the Pacific Northwest that would best meet their objectives.  Through the firm’s unparalleled knowledge and relationships in the Northwest wine industry, Metis developed a list of prospective wineries that met their criteria that consisted both of wineries actively for sale and several wineries that were not for sale but that were interested in a transition.  After evaluating many wineries, the Haladays quickly became enamored with one of Walla Walla’s most important pioneering wineries that was not for sale, Walla Walla Vintners.  Founded by Myles Anderson and Gordy Venneri 1995 Walla Walla vintners was the eighth winery in the Walla Walla Valley and was named the 2016 “Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest.

OUTCOME

Through a series of discussions with the founders of Walla Walla Vintners, Metis developed an approach to the transaction that would satisfy the individual interests of both Co-Founders as well as the Haladays.  Scott Haladay lead a group of investors, inclusive of all his siblings, and partnered with Co-Founder Gordy Venneri, age 63, to recapitalize Walla Walla Vintners.  Co-Founder Myles Anderson, age 76, announced his retirement while Co-Founder Gordy Venneri re-invested in the winery and has remained involved to guide winemaking and sales.  Scott Haladay and his wife Nici are now the strategic and operational partners with Scott overseeing strategy, branding, marketing and sales.

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