Glazer’s Makes Move Into Tennessee, With Deal To Buy Memphis-Based RobilioNovember 3, 2011
Mega-distributor Glazer’s, Inc. announced today that it has entered Tennessee, signing an agreement to acquire Victor L. Robilio Co., Inc., which distributes spirits and wine in the Memphis area for suppliers including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, William Grant & Sons, Heaven Hill, Skyy Spirits, Treasury Wine Estates, Banfi, Constellation, Kobrand and Winebow.
It may not be long before the Dallas-based Glazer’s makes other moves in the Volunteer State. While the top distributors generally have avoided so-called “franchise” states like Tennessee because of restrictive state laws that can inhibit expansion, Glazer’s appears confident it can grow there. “We wouldn’t be entering Tennessee if we didn’t think we could build that business,” Glazer’s CEO Shelly Stein told Shanken News Daily earlier today. “Look at our past history in franchise states (Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas). We’ve achieved growth through a combination of organic progress and strategic acquisitions, and we’re confident we can follow a similar path in Tennessee.”
Glazer’s is the first multi-state distributor to enter Tennessee, but another big name entered the market in 2010, when Warren Buffett’s McLane Co. distribution business acquired Horizon Wine and Spirits, one of the state’s leading wholesalers. McLane’s launch into spirits and wine distributing came earlier in 2010 when it acquired Empire Distributors, which operates in Georgia (also a franchise state) and North Carolina.
Scott Rawlings, currently president of Glazer’s Arkansas, will assume management responsibility for Tennessee upon completion of the transaction. Glazer’s is the fourth-largest U.S. spirits and wine distributor, with annual revenue of nearly $3 billion. Tennessee will be the 13th state in which Glazer’s operates.
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