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News Briefs for January 24, 2019

January 25, 2019

•Gem & Bolt Mezcal has named industry veteran John Esposito as chairman. Most recently CEO of High West Distillery, Esposito also previously served as president of Stoli Group USA, CEO of Bacardi North America, and CEO of Moët Hennessy USA. Gem & Bolt’s namesake mezcal retails at $50 a 750-ml.

•Pernod Ricard has named longtime Artémis CEO Patricia Barbizet to the new position of lead independent director of its board. Barbizet helmed Artémis—the holding company of the Pinault family and owner of Chateau Latour—from 1992-2018 and joined Pernod’s board last year. The new role is intended to “oversee the efficiency of the company’s governance and submit proposals to continue to improve and reinforce Pernod Ricard’s governance profile.” Pernod came under pressure last month from activist investor Elliott to bring new voices to its leadership team. Meanwhile, Pernod vice chairman Pierre Pringuet will step down from that role but remain on the company’s board. Pringuet was Pernod’s CEO from 2008-2015.

•Green Growth Brands has unveiled the terms of its takeover offer for Canadian cannabis cultivator Aphria and set a May 9th deadline for shareholders to sell. The offer asks Aphria shareholders to trade each Aphria share for 1.5714 common shares of Green Growth. Aphria is urging shareholders to take no action pending a review and formal recommendation from its board. Aphria noted that the offer doesn’t differ substantially from the preliminary terms Green Growth offered last month. At that time, Aphria said Green Growth’s roughly $2.1 billion bid significantly undervalues the company.

•Sonoma, California-based 3 Badge Beverage has added a red blend to its Cedar + Salmon wine label. The Walla Walla, Washington-grown wine joins other Northwest offerings like a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the range. Retailing at $25, the red blend is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot.

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