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News Briefs for May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016

•Gruppo Campari is set to officially launch its tender offer to gain control of Grand Marnier parent company Societe des Produits Marnier-Lapostolle. Running for 25 days, the offer of €8,050 ($9,074) per share values the company at around €684 million ($771m). Since the announcement of the friendly takeover in March (when Campari obtained a 17% stake in Marnier-Lapostolle), Marnier-Lapostolle’s share price has climbed beyond the offer to €8,657 ($9,756), but if Campari fails to gain more than half the shares and voting rights of SPML through the tender offer, the family shareholders have agreed to sell their remaining shares and voting rights to give Campari a controlling stake.

•Pernod Ricard’s Glenlivet single malt brand is introducing its first single-cask Scotch whiskies to the U.S. market under The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection. The three single-cask offerings include Pullman Club Car (aged 18 years in Sherry butt), Pullman Twentieth Century Limited (aged 19 years in European oak butt) and Pullman Water Level Route (aged 15 years in American oak hogshead). About 1,500 bottles of the Pullman collection are coming to market, retailing at $350 apiece. The range highlights The Glenlivet’s historical ties to first-class railroad company Pullman, which offered 2-ounce miniatures of the brand as the only Scotch whisky in its U.S. dining cars.

•Sazerac has completed its acquisition of the Paddy Irish whiskey brand from Pernod Ricard. The two companies had entered exclusive talks on the brand earlier this month. Paddy sells approximately 200,000 cases globally, with 15% of that total in the U.S. market, according to Impact Databank. Last year, Paddy declined by approximately 15% in the U.S. to 28,000 cases, largely due to a significant slide for its flavor range, which lost nearly half its volume after launching just a few years earlier. Pernod will continue to produce Paddy at its Midleton Distillery.

•Shaw-Ross International has added Guatemala’s Botran rum to its import portfolio. Under the partnership, Shaw-Ross will handle U.S. sales for Botran’s Solera rum, which is aged up to 18 years; Botran Reserva, aged for up to 15 years; and Botran Reserva Blanca, aged for three years. Produced by Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala, Botran is backed in the U.S. by musician Emilio Estefan, who has served as the face of the brand since 2014.

•Former Deep Eddy Vodka executives Eric Dopkins and Chad Auler have formed a new company, Milestone Brands LLC, and acquired Dulce Vida Spirits, parent company of the namesake Tequila brand. Dopkins, formerly Deep Eddy’s CEO, will serve as chairman and CEO of Milestone. Auler, a co-founder of Deep Eddy, is Milestone’s president. Dulce Vida Tequila (50% abv), retailing around $50 and up, is currently distributed to 17 states.

•Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida has created a new Artisanal Fine Wine & Spirits division. The new unit, devoted to small wineries, artisanal spirits and new brand development, will be led by master sommelier Laura DePasquale as general manager. DePasquale, who joined SWS last year, was previously senior vice president-general manager at The Country Vintner (part of The Winebow Group), and prior to that served with Palm Bay International for more than a decade.

•Heaven Hill Brands is releasing a special “American Hero” edition of its Evan Williams Black Bourbon to honor military veterans. Available nationwide through July 4, the red, white and blue bottle features individual stories of different U.S. heroes with stars and stripes on the label. Evan Williams’ American Heroes bottle retails for about $25 a 1.75-ml. and is being supported by a national advertising campaign. Evan Williams grew 15% in the U.S. in 2015 to cross the 2-million-case mark, according to Impact Databank.

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