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News Briefs for February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

•Whisky Advocate has named Wiser’s Very Old (also known as Wiser’s 18 Year Old) as its Canadian Whisky of the Year. The 40%-abv product retails for $65 a 750-ml. Individual winners from the 18th annual installment of the Whisky Advocate Awards are being unveiled one day at a time through February 13 at WhiskyAdvocateBlog.com, and will also be featured in the magazine’s upcoming Spring edition, due out March 1.

•Russian Standard vodka chairman Roustam Tariko has made a new offer to Central European Distribution Corp. (CEDC), proposing an “alliance” that would see Russian Standard raise its current 9.9% stake in CEDC to 32.99%. In return, Tariko said in a February 1 letter included in a CEDC stock filing, Russian Standard would assist with CEDC’s debt, and offer certain of its own assets, including “distribution rights in Russia to Russian Standard vodka, the Gancia (wine) brand portfolio and a selection of other premium brands currently distributed by Roust Inc. (Russian Standard’s own distributor), which currently generate approximately $45 million of gross profit per year.” Tariko, who has requested an answer by February 8, said he would seek up to three members on CEDC’s board if the proposed deal were approved.

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