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CALIFORNIA | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

Scheid to Sell 4 Vineyards for $21 Million

May 18, 2000|Melinda Fulmer

Scheid Vineyards Inc. of Marina del Rey said it has reached an agreement to sell 1,350 acres of prime vineyard property to Coastal Winegrowers, a closely held vineyard operator, for $21.3 million. The four vineyards, which make up about a quarter of Scheid's vineyard property, are planted primarily with Chardonnay grapes, and are in Greenfield, in Monterey County. The transaction is expected to close in 60 days and Scheid, the only publicly traded wine-grape grower, will use the proceeds to pay down corporate debt and return the company to profitability. In the first quarter, Scheid posted a net loss of $617,000, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $423,000, or 7 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Company officials say they are not liquidating the company's assets and added that they will continue to sell grapes to all of Scheid's winery clients. "The price comes out to over $15,000 an acre," Chief Financial Officer Heidi Scheid said. "It absolutely makes sense for us to make this deal." Scheid shares fell 6 cents to close at $3.50 on Nasdaq.

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