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News Briefs for February 28, 2013

February 28, 2013

•Two top Pernod Ricard executives are switching posts, effective July 1. Christian Porta, currently chairman and CEO of Pernod’s Chivas Brothers unit, will become chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Europe, reporting to Alexandre Ricard, deputy CEO and group COO. Porta, who will now be based in Paris, has helmed Chivas Brothers since 2004. Succeeding Porta at Chivas will be Laurent Lacassagne, currently chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard Europe, a position he’s held since 2008. In his new role, Lacassagne will report to Thierry Billot, Pernod’s managing director, brands, and will be based in London.

•Brown-Forman is set to release this year’s special edition Woodford Reserve Bourbon bottle for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The packaging features art by Oregon-based painter Eric Bowman, which includes a close-up of a racing scene, as well as a sky blue neckband at the top displaying Bowman’s signature and a tag hanging around the bottle with information about the product and the artist. The bottle will be available in 46 markets across the country for a suggested retail price of $43.99 a 1-liter bottle. Woodford Reserve has been a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for the past 15 years.

Constellation Brands is adding two directors to its board, expanding its size to 11 members, effective today. The new board members are Robert Hanson, CEO of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (a $3.1 billion mall-based retailer); and Judy Schmeling, executive vice president and chief financial officer of HSN Inc., a $3 billion interactive multichannel retailer that owns two primary businesses, HSN and Cornerstone Brands.

•Groupon Inc. lost nearly a quarter of its market value yesterday when its shares fell 22% to $4.65 in after-hours trading. In mid-day trading today, Groupon’s share price was hovering at $4.75. The company recently decided to begin taking a smaller cut of revenue on daily deals to appeal to more merchants, which led to larger-than-expected fourth-quarter losses and a weaker revenue outlook. Groupon posted a loss of $81.8 million in the fourth quarter of calendar 2012, compared to a loss of $65.4 million in the year-earlier period, when the company had fewer shares outstanding. For the current first quarter, Groupon forecasts revenue of $560 million to $610 million—significantly lower than the $650 million that analysts had estimated.

•California Pizza Kitchen has launched a new beverage lineup, including wine flights and new expanded craft beer selections. The wine flights will offer consumers three 3-ounce pours for $12, available in red, white or their “adventurous” wine offerings from around the world. The restaurant chain also offers wine by the glass in 6-ounce or 9-ounce pours. The craft beer offerings have been expanded to include 22-ounce bottles of popular brands such as Crispin Artisanal Cider, Newcastle Brown Ale, Arrogant Bastard Ale and Rogue Brutal IPA, among others. Additionally, the restaurants will start serving draft beers in 18-ounce pours. Started in Beverly Hills in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen currently operates 250 locations in more than 30 states and 11 countries.


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