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News Briefs for June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011

Diageo has acquired a 50% stake in Zacapa Rum, previously held by spirits producer Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala. Diageo signed a three-year distribution deal for Zacapa in 2008, with an option to take an equity stake if certain investment criteria were met by the end of the three-year term. Diageo said the brand would be “economic profit positive in year three” but didn’t disclose further details on the deal.

• The Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA), an advocate for direct shipping and an opponent of the CARE Act, is calling out the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) for its recent efforts to thwart interstate wine shipping. The TABC recently announced partnerships with Fed-Ex and United Parcel Service to stop Texas residents from buying wine from out-of-state retailers and shipping it home. The SWRA, while acknowledging that such activity is illegal, criticized the current rule and argued that “limiting the wine selection and ownership rights of Texas consumers in this way demeans the Texas consumer, violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, prevents the state of Texas from receiving significant amounts of tax revenue and encourages law-breaking by Texas citizens.”

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