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Pine State Wins Spirits Distribution Deal From Maine Government

January 10, 2014

Pine State Trading Co. has become the distributor of record in the state of Maine under a new, 10-year agreement with the state’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage and Lottery Operations. The contract becomes effective on July 1, 2014.

Previously, Pine State acted as a subcontractor for Maine Beverage Co. (a partnership between Martignetti Companies and New York investment firm Lindsay Goldberg LLC), which has been Maine’s distributor of record for the past decade.

The new contract with Pine State is expected to generate as much as $450 million in revenue for the state of Maine over the next decade. That’s more than double the $190 million (including an upfront payment of $125 million and annual revenue sharing) that Maine brought in over the past 10 years in its deal with Martignetti-led Maine Beverage Co.

The additional revenue is due to a more cost-effective deal, according to Maine governor Paul LePage’s office. While Maine Beverage Co. received a percentage of all spirits sales, Pine State will now be paid a flat fee, and the state will receive all profits from spirits sales.

Pine State beat out one other bidder—All Maine Spirits, a company formed last year by six local residents for the sole purpose of bidding on the contract. Maine Beverage Co. did not participate in the bidding.

Augusta, Maine-based Pine State is a distributor of food and beverage products, serving over 5,000 customers in New England and upstate New York. The company was founded in 1941 by Charles Canning and is now owned by the third generation of Cannings. The company is currently led by CEO Nick Alberding, who assumed that post in 2012.

Maine is still weighing proposals for a marketing contract for its spirits sales, and it expects a deal on that front within the next two months.

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