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News Briefs for January 17, 2013

January 17, 2013

•Rémy Cointreau’s sales in the nine-month period through December 30 were up 17.5% to €964.4 million ($1.29 billion), with Rémy’s own brands up by 20.6%. Rémy Martin’s cumulative organic growth was 12.4%, as demand for premium Cognac in Asia continued to rise and sales remained strong in the U.S. Rémy’s liqueurs and spirits business was up 3.2% organically, with particularly strong gains posted by Cointreau in the U.S. market. Metaxa also saw sales increase on a global basis, but remains affected by Greece’s economic struggles. Meanwhile, Rémy added its newly acquired Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky to its Liqueurs & Spirits division September 1.

As U.S. regulators continue to scrutinize Anheuser-Busch InBev’s pending $20.1 billion dealfor the remaining half of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo it doesn’t already own, the beer behemoth is said to be drawing a red line on certain potential concessions, beyond which it would withdraw from the agreement. Following reports that the U.S. Justice Department could require ABI to divest Modelo’s $600-million Piedras Negras production plant, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that such a move would constitute a dealbreaker for ABI, which continues to maintain that it expects the acquisition to close this quarter. Other potential obstacles include a production and pricing contract between ABI and Modelo’s U.S. importer Crown Imports, which some fear would give ABI too much pricing control in the U.S. beer market.

Southern Wine & Spirits has named Cleighton Leong to the newly created role of vice president, commercial intelligence platform (CIP). The appointment was effective January 1, and Leong continues to report directly to Thomas McDevitt, vice president, national category management & business intelligence. Leong will lead a newly created CIP team that “develops and supports leading analytical and commercial tools to enhance marketing insights, selling execution and market-level competitiveness.” Also named to CIP and reporting to Leong are Mark Gavenda (director, CIP), Cameron Stoeckel (director, CIP) and Susan Wittschiebe (manager, CIP). The team will report to Southern’s Corporate Sales & Marketing organization. According to Southern, they will begin by developing tools like a mobile sales reporting application for general managers and the next generation of Southern Wine Online.

•Brown-Forman’s Tuaca liqueur has embarked on its first-ever television ad campaign in the U.S. Launched earlier this week, the regional campaign will initially run for eight weeks in Austin, Texas and Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Under the tagline “The Spirit of Adventure,” the push features 15- and 30-second television spots, which are airing on networks such as ESPN, TNT, Comedy Central, NBC, CBS and FOX. Colorado and Texas are the brand’s top two U.S. markets. Tuaca, a vanilla citrus liqueur retailing for around $23 a bottle, was down 7% in 2011 to 118,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.


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