Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

•OpenTable is showing revenue growth despite a volatile economy, the company’s CEO, Matt Roberts, recently told The Republic. The 13-year-old San Francisco-based restaurant reservation website company, which has more than 20,000 restaurants in its online database, reported revenues of roughly $34 million for the second quarter of 2011, nearly double from the comparable period in 2009. The company, which charges restaurants up to $1 per customer who makes an OpenTable reservation, has posted earnings every quarter since going public in May 2009.

•Beam Inc. is set to pay off $400 million in debt following its recent spin-off from parent company Fortune Brands on October 3. Last week, Beam announced that it had called for the redemption of $400 million in 3% notes, due 2012, and that the group intends to redeem them by November 4. A portion of a $500 million dividend received from Fortune’s breakup—specifically, the sale of Fortune’s home and security business—will fund the redemption. The move is part of Beam’s overall plan to reduce its outstanding debt by approximately $1.7 billion.

•The most recent Pennsylvania House bill proposing the privatized sale of wine and spirits, as well as the auctioning off of more than 1,200 retail licenses, has reportedly come under fire for its exclusion of beer, according to local news sources. Introduced in July by state Rep. Mike Turzai, House Bill 11 doesn’t address expanding beer sales to supermarkets or convenience stores—both of which would likely purchase the majority of retail licenses. As a result, groups such as the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and the Pennsylvania Convenience Store Council are currently lobbying to revise legislation and add beer to the privatization bill.

•Classic Wine Storage & Services, which offers wine-dedicated storage facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is opening a new facility in Dallas. The 10,343-square-foot site will include walk-in lockers and larger case lockers, as well as a back-up power generator, video security and an event room with Internet access. The new Dallas site is the company’s second. It launched its first storage facility in 2006 in Southlake, Texas.

•Russian Standard vodka owner Roust and Rémy Cointreau have expanded their partnership in Russia to give Roust rights to distribute and market additional Rémy Cointreau brands. Starting today, Roust will also distribute Mount Gay Rum, St. Remy a la Crème, Passoa passion fruit liqueur and Charles Heidsieck Champagne in the market, joining the Roust Russian portfolio of Rémy Cointreau brands that already includes Rémy Martin Cognac, Louis XIII Cognac, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Metaxa brandy, Cointreau liqueur and St. Rémy brandy. Roust and Rémy Cointreau have been partners in Russia since 2006.

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