FYI


More on Pernod Ricard-Allied Domecq Deal

After finalizing the $14 billion deal to acquire the Allied Domecq wine and spirits brands and other assets, Pernod Ricard announced several new developments relative to the acquisition.

The company secured the global marketing rights to Stolichnaya, a key Allied brand, by inking an agreement with SPI Group, which owns the brand, for 100 million euros (about $120 million). In addition, at the end of August, Pernod Ricard sold Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Diageo for 295 million euros (about $354 million).

Pernod is now in the process of transferring many previous Allied assets to Fortune Brands, which is paying about $5 billion to Pernod for more than 20 spirits and wine brands. This should be accomplished by the end of the year. Pernod Ricard USA will officially incorporate all its new brands into the company by January 1, 2006.

Michel Bord, chairman and ceo of Pernod Ricard USA, explained that in the wake of the acquisition the company is establishing a fifth sales division as well as a sales group specializing in wine and smaller premium brands. He said the company is increasing its staff by 50%.

Pernod has also created a new U.S.-based company, called the Malibu-Kahlua International Company. This concern will be the brand owner of Malibu, Kahlua and Tia Maria and will be responsible for the global strategy, production sourcing and worldwide sales of the brands.


Maker’s Mark to Fortune Brands

Fortune Brands said that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has cleared the way for the company to unconditionally complete the purchase of Maker’s Mark and its related facilities, including the distillery in Loretto, KY. Maker’s Mark was included in the Pernod transaction and had been subject to regulatory review in the U.S.

Booker Noe;FYI copyTo commemorate the life of Jim Beam Brands’ Master Distiller Booker Noe (Dec. 7, 1929 ­ Feb. 24, 2004), Jim Beam Brands unveiled a life-size bronze statue of the legendary distiller. The statue of Booker and his favorite canine pal, Dot, will sit on the Clermont Distillery grounds watching over the production of Jim Beam bourbons.

“As one of the most respected and fastest-growing brands in the spirits industry, Maker’s Mark will be a high-impact addition to our newly-enhanced spirits and wine portfolio,” said Fortune Brands chairman and ceo Norm Wesley. “Maker’s Mark continues to experience double-digit growth year after year…. Along with Jim Beam, Knob Creek and our other Small Batch bourbons, Maker’s Mark gives us an all-star bourbon lineup with leadership positions at all premium tiers.” Annual sales of Maker’s Mark are more than 500,000 9-liter cases.


Absolut Buys Rest of Cruzan

The Absolut Spirits Co., a unit of Stockholm-based V&S Vin & Sprit AB, has purchased the portion of rum maker Cruzan International it didn’t already own for $28.37 a share, or $69.6 million. The agreement came after Absolut acquired a 64% stake in Cruzan for $121.8 million from a third party. Buying Cruzan gives The Absolut Spirits Co. a growing line of rum from the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to its Absolut and Level vodkas and Plymouth gin.


Super Target Stores Launch Unbreakable Fetzer Four-Packs

Merlot 4 pack,Target;FYISuper Target stores in 14 states have debuted new “Ready To Go!” four-packs of Fetzer Valley Oaks Chardonnay ($8.99), White Zinfandel ($6.99) and Merlot ($8.99) in lightweight, unbreakable l87 ml PET bottles.

Fetzer has already found acceptance of the “Ready To Go!” four-packs, with screw caps. They were introduced earlier this year at ballparks, golf and tennis clubs in 21 states, amphitheaters and airlines.

They are available at Super Target Stores in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.


Business Briefs

EXECUTIVE CHANGES

TomJensen copy
Thomas F. Jensen

The board of directors of Bacardi Limited announced that Facundo L. Bacardi has been elected chairman of the board effective immediately, completing the company’s chairman succession plan. Bacardi, 38, has served as vice chairman of the board for three years and has been a director of Bacardi Limited since 1993. He is the great-great grandson of the company founder, Don Facundo Bacardi Massó, who created the company in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba… Sidney Frank Importing Co. promoted Lee R. Einsidler to chief executive officer of the company. Einsidler joined the company in 1991, and he was quickly promoted from national sales manager to executive vice president, sales & marketing… Remy Cointreau USA, Inc., the American subsidiary of France-based luxury wine and spirit company Remy Cointreau SA, appointed Thomas F. Jensen as president and chief executive officer. An industry veteran with more than 23 years of experience, Jensen was previously executive vice president of sales for Remy Cointreau USA…. Terlato Wine Group (TWG) appointed Tom Steffanci as chief operating officer for Paterno Wines International (PWI), the Group’s luxury wine marketing and sales organization.


COMPANY NEWS

North Lake Wines, a Constellation Wines U.S. company, and Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A., a leading exporter of Bordeaux wines, announced the appointment of North Lake Wines as the exclusive U.S. importer of Mouton Cadet and several other Baron Philippe de Rothschild wines, including the Vin de Pays d’Oc wines and Escudo Rojo, a superpremium Chilean red wine produced by its subsidiary, Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo, Chile. North Lake Wines has also become U.S. importer of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chteau wines… Constellation is also purchasing the Rex Goliath wine label from California’s Hahn Estates for an undisclosed amount. Rex Goliath wines sold more than 300,000 9-liter cases in 2004, and will be marketed and sold by Pacific Wine Partners, which is part of the Constellation Wines U.S. organization…. Palm Bay Imports has added three wine estates from northern Italy — Anselmi, Travaglini and Vistoria — to its Italian wine portfolio in the U.S…. Outer Cape Imports, Ltd. has been named exclusive U.S. importer for two Australian brands, Capel Vale and John’s Blend. Founded in 2005 by Joseph Carr, the former president of Mildara Blass, Outer Cape Imports is an international fine wine importer and brokerage firm with a portfolio of brands from Napa Valley, South Africa, Spain and Australia… First Ireland Spirits, of Abbeyleix, Ireland, in conjunction with Heaven Hill Distilleries, announced an extension of their distribution agreement for O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream in the USA…. Paterno Wines International announced a long-term agreement to market icewines from Peller Estates. The wines, made at a state-of-the art-winery on the Niagara Peninsula on Lake Ontario, include Three Peller Estates Andrew Peller Signature Series Icewines: Oak Aged Vidal Blanc Icewine, Riesling Icewine and Cabernet Franc Icewine. Paterno also announced a long-term agreement to market the wines of Langlois-Chateau, the producer of sparkling and still wines from France’s Loire Valley.


NEW WINE RELEASES

Raymond Vineyards has released its 2001 Raymond Generations Cabernet Sauvignon (suggested retail, $70), featuring dark chocolate, black cherries, plums and vanilla bean with plush tannin; its 2002 Raymond NapaValley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($35), a well-structured, complex, well-balanced wine; and 2002 Raymond Napa Valley Reserve Merlot ($24), with round, dark fruit and Bing cherry flavors; Concannon Vineyards has released its Selected Vineyards Collection, Central Coast: the 2003 Merlot ($10) with a bright garnet color and black cherry, deep blackberry and cassis flavors; 2003 Syrah ($10), exhibiting a classic, inky ruby color, with flavors of blackberry and blueberry jam; and the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($10), said to be full-bodied with dark berry, black cherry flavors with hints of earth and cedar; Foppiano Vineyards released its 2002 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($16), a bright ruby aromatic wine; and the 2003 Petite Sirah Russian River Valley, Bacigalupi Vineyard ($16), offering raspberries and strawberries with hints of white pepper and nuances of oak; Kendall-Jackson has released its 2002 Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($16), providing intense black cherry, blackberry and cassis flavors accented by vanilla and spice notes; and its 2004 Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir ($14), with black cherry fruit, velvety tannins combined with raspberry flavor and strawberry jam; Chalone Vineyard has released Chalone Vineyard Monterey County wines, including Monterey County Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot selling at a suggested retail price of $12 to $15 per 750 ml bottle.


CORRECTION

In our cordials & liqueurs story in the September/October 2005 issue, we printed some incorrect information. Shakka Grape, Apple and Kiwi-flavored liqueurs are made with grain neutral spirits and some natural flavors and are not from the Virgin Islands. In addition, Pernod Ricard’s Irish cream liqueur is called Bushmills Irish Cream, and the correct name of Patron’s liqueur blended with coffee and aged tequila is Patron XO Café.

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