NAPA -- A liquidator today said it has taken over the operations of Havens Wine Cellars and is selling inventory of that Napa Valley vintner and its parent company, Billington Imports.
Great American Group of Woodland Hills was hired to liquidate about 50,000 cases of Havens and Billington-imported brands; nearly 37,000 gallons of bulk wine in the Havens facility in Napa; and barrels, racks and intellectual property such as trademarks, permits, contracts and licenses, according to Joe Rivkin, who is overseeing the liquidation. Most of the casegoods are in Billington's 24,000-square-foot leased warehouse at Industry West Commerce Center in Santa Rosa, with some in Virginia, where Billington was based, and Chile.
"The winery officially ceased operations, but we're tending to the bulk wine," Mr. Rivkin said, referring to Havens' 12,000-square-foot facility on 10 acres at 2055 Hoffman Lane in Napa.
The book value of the inventory is $7 million and of the other items is "several hundred thousand dollars."
Liquidation started July 28 with Billington and with Havens 10 days ago, according to Mr. Rivkin. The sale, benefitting PNC Bank, is expected to last several weeks.
Michael Havens started Havens Wine Cellars in 1984 and was known for merlot. Billington, started by the Bartholomaus family in 1985, acquired Havens in 2006 to add to its portfolio of German, Argentinian, Chilean, New Zealand and French wines.
In March 2008, Billington secured financing for Havens through VinREIT, a St. Helena-based vineyard and winery investment group for Entertainment Properties Trust.
Details on the liquidation are available at www.greatamerican.com/gagwliquidations.