Originally published as Case Study no. 25 in the Lubin Business School Case Studies Series.

Document Type



The Beringer Wine Estates Company has been expanding its market share in the premium segment of the wine industry through the decade of the 1990s. After operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the giant Nestle Food Company for about a quarter of a century, the firm was sold in 1996 to new owners in a leveraged buyout.

Students are presented with a number of corporate decisions covering management's decision to "go public" in the late 1990s. Timing issues are critical, as is the pricing of the issue, and the impact of this decision on the firm's cost of capital. Financial strategies, financial forecasting, and the valuation of a private vs. a public firm flow from the case data as well as the use of publicly-traded common stock that could be used as "currency" for enhancing the firm's growth rate and business opportunities.