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Sidney Frank Importing Co. Is Acquired By Mast-Jägermeister

June 23, 2015

Germany’s Mast-Jägermeister SE, which has seen its flagship brand lose nearly 30% of its U.S. volume over the past five years, is acquiring its U.S. marketer—Sidney Frank Importing Co.—for an undisclosed sum.

Under Sidney Frank’s stewardship, Jägermeister was long one of the U.S. spirits market’s biggest success stories. After two consecutive decades of impressive growth, the German herbal liqueur’s annual U.S. sales jumped from around 200,000 cases in 1990 to nearly 2.9 million cases in 2008. Remarkably, the brand’s impressive growth came with little to no above-the-line advertising support, as Sidney Frank instead targeted on-premise promotional activity to support Jägermeister, which became a favorite for shot consumption among drinkers in their 20s.

However, over the past few years, Jägermeister has struggled mightily. After modest declines in 2009, 2010 and 2011, the brand began dropping more sharply with the meteoric rise of Fireball, the Canadian whisky-infused cinnamon liqueur that has become the shot of choice for LDA consumers.

Besides Jägermeister, the New Rochelle, New York-based Sidney Frank also markets Gekkeikan Sake (which sold 450,000 cases in the U.S. last year); Barenjäger liqeur, which is also owned by Mast-Jägermeister and had sales of 14,000 cases in the U.S. last year; American Harvest vodka (30,000 cases); and Casamigos Tequila. Sidney Frank acquired the rights to Casamigos in 2014, and the high-end Tequila brand (owned by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and real estate entrepreneur Mike Meldman) has thrived under its direction, with sales nearing 40,000 cases last year and on pace to more than double that in 2015.

Sidney Frank is perhaps best known for creating and marketing Grey Goose vodka, which it sold to Bacardi Ltd. for $2 billion in 2004.

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