Crimson Wine Group -- Alas, Another Public Wine Company

Crimson Wine Group Ltd. (OTC: CWGL) is the newest company to hit the markets around the trade of wine, beer and spirits. This is actually a spin-off that was just completed from Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE: LUK), paid out to its holders as a dividend, and it was timed as part of the process of acquiring Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF).

Crimson is a Napa-based player that produces premium, ultra-premium and luxury wines, and wine aficionados likely will have heard of the brands: Pine Ridge Vineyards, Archery Summit, Chamisal Vineyards and Seghesio Family Vineyards. As this is still an OTC company, we will only offer up what the companies have offered.

Our one comment is that this is unlikely to remain OTC for long. Companies generally try to avoid that stigma, and our take is that Leucadia conducted this spin-off in a low-profile and rapid manner because the company was too small to make much of a dent either way. Here is what Crimson’s SEC filing shows about its financial picture:

Revenues and other income for 2012 and 2011 include $9,640,000 and $14,592,000, respectively, of increased revenues at the winery operations; substantially all of the 2012 increase and $9,628,000 of the 2011 increase results from the acquisition of Seghesio Family Vineyards in the second quarter of 2011. The change in selling, general and other expenses for 2012 and 2011 as compared to the prior year also reflects $2,138,000 and $12,152,000, respectively, of greater costs at the winery operations. Selling, general and other expenses also include charges of $1,513,000 in 2010 at the winery operations to reduce the carrying amount of wine inventory.

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