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Pernod Ricard Seals Allied Domecq Acquisition

Pernod Ricard has completed the acquisition of Allied Domecq for approximately $14 billion, making Pernod Ricard USA the third-largest company by sales value and the fourth largest by sales volume in the U.S. The deal actually doubles the company’s sales volume and market share in the U.S., and complements the company’s portfolio of wine and spirits with the addition of major brands including Kahlua, Malibu, Beefeater, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët, and U.S. distribution rights for Stolichnaya vodka.

Stolichnaya vodka is one of several power brands that Pernod Ricard USA will now be representing in the U.S.

Under the final terms of the transaction, in the U.S., Allied Domecq will initially operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Pernod Ricard to allow for the completion of the sale of certain Allied Domecq brands to Fortune Brands (for about $5 billion), including Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Sauza, Maker’s Mark (pending FTC approval) and Clos du Bois wines, among others.

Michel Bord, president and CEO of Pernod Ricard USA, said, “This is an exciting and transformative combination for Pernod Ricard USA. Bringing together these energetic and solidly performing industry leaders results in a stronger company with exciting growth opportunities in the U.S….We also appreciate the dedication of Allied’s many talented employees, and will look to provide opportunities within our organization for those employees wherever possible.” TresPlata

Fortune Brands is adding more than a dozen brands to its portfolio, including the Sauza line of tequila.


In order to satisfy regulatory demands for U.S. rights to Stoli, Pernod Ricard announced the sale of Seagram’s Vodka to Young’s Holdings, Inc. Seagram’s Vodka sales reached 640,000 9-liter cases in 2004 and includes several successful flavored line extensions. For the same regulatory reason, Pernod has also discontinued the marketing and distribution of Wyborowa vodka from Poland.

For its part, with its new brands, Fortune Brands will more than double revenue for the company’s spirits and wine business and place it among the top four spirits companies in the world, according to the company. Said Fortune Brands chairman and CEO Norm Wesley, “With a broader, stronger portfolio and expanded international strength, our spirits and wine business will be a new global leader in premium spirits and wine with excellent prospects to accelerate growth.”

skyranchThe Sky Ranch Foundation recently celebrated its 14th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner, in Dallas, TX, where it honored five individuals who, “have made an important contribution to the united efforts of the alcohol beverage industry to provide quality care for the troubled teens at Sky Ranch for Boys,” according to the organization. The five honorees included Harvey Chaplin, of Southern Wine & Spirits, Miami, FL; Harry Groth, of Jim Beam Brands; Jerry Cargill, of Glazer’s on Dallas, TX; David and Margaret Jabour, of Twin Liquors, Austin, TX; and the late Colleen Westmoreland, of Bacardi. Other honorees included George McCarthy (right), who received a special gift in recognition of his years of service to Sky Ranch from Sky Ranch Foundation president Ralph Aguera (far left) and its new chairman Mike Donohoe.

Diageo Hosts A Second Awards Show

Spirits, beer and wine distributors from across the U.S. were once again honored by Diageo in its “2nd Annual Golden Bar Awards” event, this time at historic Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The distributors were highlighted for outstanding performance in the marketplace as well as for the roles they play in their local communities.

This year, Diageo presented 27 statuettes made of 24 carat gold to distributors. Each Golden Bar Award weighs eight pounds, stands more than a foot tall and is produced by R.S. Owens, the company that created the Oscar, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ivan Menezes, President and CEO of Diageo North America, thanked all of Diageo’s distributors, saying, “Without your consummate professionalism, ability to forge new and profitable relationships, and many other accomplishments in bringing the Diageo family of brands to market, we simply would not be the best in the business. On behalf of all our brands, I thank you.”

A fireworks display that illuminated the nearby Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor added a fitting conclusion to the night’s festivities.

This year, there were three Distributor of the Year Awards, which went to Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (in the Wine category); Alliance Beverage, AZ (in the Spirits category) and to Origlio Beverage, PA, (in the Beer category).

Spirits Excellence Awards were given to Allied Beverage Group, NJ (for Smirnoff); Reliable Churchill, MD (for Jose Cuervo); Coastal Wine & Spirits, FL (for Captain Morgan); Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (for Crown Royal); Alliance Beverage, AZ (for Baileys); Atlantic Wine & Spirits, NY (for Johnnie Walker); and Southern Wine & Spirits of Kentucky (for Tanqueray). The Control States award was given to Glazer’s of Iowa.

Wine Excellence Awards were given to Judge & Dolph, IL (for Beaulieu Vineyard); and Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (for Sterling Vineyards).

Beer Excellence Awards went to Summit Distributing, CO (for Guinness); and Andrews Distributing of North Texas (for Smirnoff Ice).

On-Premise Excellence Awards were given to Glazer’s of Ohio (for Spirits); Coastal Wine & Spirits, FL (for Wine); and Alliance Beverage, AZ (for Beer).

Off-Premise Excellence Awards were given to United Beverages of New Hampshire (for Spirits); Alliance Beverage, AZ (for Wine); and F.P. Winner, MD (for Beer).

Best New Launch Awards went to Georgia Crown Distributing Co., GA (for Spirits); Washington Wholesale, DC (for Wine); and DeCrescente Distributing, NY (for Beer).

The Corporate Citizenship Excellence Award went to Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada (for Wine & Spirits) and Mesa Distributing, CA (for Beer).

Barry Becton

Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits group of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Brown-Forman Corporation have agreed to end the contracts by which Brown-Forman acts as the U.S. importer of the Glenmorangie brands (as well as representing those brands in Canada, Continental Europe and certain Asian countries). Moët Hennessy acquired The Glenmorangie Company at the beginning of 2005, and will now be able to import and distribute the products through its own companies in the markets in which it operates… The World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries (WAABI) has elected Barry Becton as president of its board. Becton is currently director of Trade and Community Relations for Diageo, and based in Washington, D.C….Eric P. Wente, chairman of Wente Vineyards, was elected Board Chairman of the Wine Institute for 2005-2006….Anheuser-Busch announced several executive changes and promotions: Robert Lachky has been named executive vice president, Global Industry Development, a newly created position that will report directly to August Busch IV, president of A-B. In his new position, Lachky will represent the company nationally and internationally with beverage alcohol industry groups, as well as work to enhance the overall image of the beer industry; filling Lachky’s previous position of vice president, brand management, is Marlene V. Coulis, the first woman and Hispanic-American to hold this position in the company; in addition, Mamie Haynes has been promoted to director of retail sales development and trade communications for A-B…. Heineken USA has appointed Ken Kunze to the position of vice president, marketing…. Foster’s Wine Estates (the new entity representing the combination of Beringer Blass Wine Estates and Southcorp Limited), announced that Scott Weiss, president, Southcorp Wines, the Americas, has been named managing director for Foster’s Wine Estates Americas…. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., a national importer and marketer of fine wines and spirits, has named Chris Ryan (most recently executive vice president of sales and marketing) as the new chief executive officer; after 23 years running the company, B. Timothy Enos is stepping down, but will remain a director of the company….Majestic Distilling (Lansdowne, MD) has been named U.S. importer for Tortuga Rums of the Cayman Islands. The line features special blends of Jamaican and Barbados rums including Tortuga Light Rum, Tortuga Gold Rum and Tortuga Spiced Rum.


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