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News Briefs for July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011

•Rum distiller Club Caribe LLC plans to open a new multimillion-dollar distillery in Puerto Rico by early 2012. In addition to contract production, Club Caribe will target the U.S. market with its eponymous white rum, Black Roberts spiced rum and Ron Carlos gold rum. The distillery is expected produce 2 million gallons (over 800,000 cases) in its first year, with a long-term goal of boosting annual production to 10 million gallons. Last November, Diageo opened a new distillery for Captain Morgan in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, following a 2008 announcement that it would relocate Captain Morgan’s production from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico lost significant tax rebates from Diageo’s move, prompting the island’s government to increase investments in the Puerto Rican rum industry. The Puerto Rico Economic Development & Commerce Department has partnered with Caribe on a 20-year agreement, similar to one recently reached with Bacardi, which ensures that Bacardi will remain in Puerto Rico for at least the next two decades.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) will now pursue an organic growth strategy instead of an acquisition-focused approach, chief executive Carlos Brito told Belgian newspaper De Tijd. Brito said ABI has reached “the right scale” through five acquisitions in the last 12 years—including its $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch in 2008—and no longer needs to concentrate on acquisition opportunities. In other company news, ABI’s Argentine division recently announced a five-year plan to invest ARS$3 billion ($750m) to expand its capacity, remodel its facilities and strengthen its distribution network.

•TBWA/London has been awarded the global advertising account for Pernod Ricard’s Campo Viejo Spanish wine brand. TBWA will aim to raise brand awareness for Campo Viejo outside Spain. Ads will target priority markets including the U.S. and U.K. across TV, print, digital, and retail platforms. TBWA already handles advertising for a number of Pernod Ricard brands, including Absolut, Jameson, Martell, Kahlúa, Royal Salute and Graffigna wines. TBWA beat out Publicis and Euro RSCG in winning the Campo Viejo account.

•Cassandra SkinnerLopata has been appointed chair of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) board of commissioners. She’s been a member of OLCC’s board of commissioners since June 2009. SkinnerLopata replaces Philip Lang, who is retiring.

•Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett nominated Joseph Brion on Wednesday to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). Pending the PA Senate’s approval, Brion will succeed Thomas Goldsmith, whose second term as member of the PLCB has expired. Brion is a managing partner at the law firm of Buckley, Brion, McGuire, Morris & Sommer in West Chester, PA.

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