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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Josie Butchart

The Mondavi family is set to lose overall control of the Napa-based Robert Mondavi Corporation. The company's board of directors announced on 20 August that it will recommend to shareholders a plan to recapitalise the company that would result in a single class of shares and the elimination of class B' shares with super-voting rights. The family currently holds six million class B' shares, and if the plan is approved, its voting power would decrease from 84.9% to 39.5%, but its financial interest in the company would increase slightly, from 35.9% to 39.5%. The board also announced plans for a dramatic restructuring of the company that will see it split into two separate business lines: one focused on the company's lifestyle' brands (retailing at up to $15 a bottle) and the other concentrating on luxury' brands (retailing at more than $15 a bottle). Dennis Joyce, executive vice-president of sales and marketing, has been appointed chief operating officer for the lifestyle' business, reporting to president and CEO Greg Evans, but a CEO for the luxury' business has yet to be appointed. Evans said: It has become increasingly clear in the new wine environment that $50 Napa Valley Cabernet and $6 premium wines require different models.'