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Sidney Frank Sues Beam For $100 Million Over Michael Collins Irish Whiskey Contract

March 1, 2013

Sidney Frank Importing Co. (SFIC) is suing Beam Inc. for $100 million, claiming Beam has broken a production contract for Sidney Frank’s Michael Collins Irish Whiskey. SFIC has been sourcing Michael Collins from the Cooley Distillery, which Beam acquired for $95 million in late 2011. In its complaint, Sidney Frank said, “Cooley unilaterally and wholly without justification abandoned its supply contract with SFIC,” adding that Beam “orchestrated this move in order to monopolize Cooley’s production capacity for the benefit of its Kilbeggan brand, which Beam is aggressively promoting in the U.S. where Michael Collins had been ascending rapidly.” A Beam spokesperson told Bloomberg News the company is confident it will prevail in the matter.

Michael Collins sold 9,000 cases in 2011 according to Impact Databank, up from 8,000 a year earlier. The brand rolled out in 2006.

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