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News Briefs for August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014

•Beam Suntory has named former SABMiller exec Mauricio Restrepo as chief financial officer, effective early this fourth quarter. He replaces former Beam Inc. CFO Robert Probst—who departed in May following the company’s takeover by Suntory—and will report directly to Beam Suntory chairman and CEO Matt Shattock. Prior to joining Beam Suntory, Restrepo most recently served as regional finance director for SABMiller’s European business. He also previously served as SABMiller’s CFO-Latin America, as well as CFO of the brewer’s Grupo Empresarial Bavaria subsidiary in Colombia.

•Tom Rinaldi, director of winemaking for Diageo Chateau & Estate’s Hewitt and Provenance brands, is retiring after more than 35 years in the industry. Rinaldi spent more than two decades at Duckhorn Vineyards before joining Chalone Group in 2000 to launch Hewitt and Provenance. Chalone was subsequently acquired by Diageo Chateau & Estate in 2005 for $260 million. Chris Cooney, who has worked alongside Rinaldi at Hewitt and Provenance for the last 11 vintages, will continue to lead winemaking for both brands as senior winemaker. Hewitt’s Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2010 ($92) was ranked number-four last year among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines.

•The Edrington Group says it’s in final discussions toward a new travel retail distribution deal with Miami-based World Equity Brand Builders (WEBB) in the Americas and Caribbean. The new exclusive agreement with WEBB is expected to replace Edrington’s current distribution arrangement with Rémy Cointreau Travel Retail Americas, which has run for seven years and expires January 15, 2015. Edrington—whose brands include The Macallan, Brugal rum, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Highland Park and Snow Leopard vodka—took over its own U.S. marketing and distribution from Rémy Cointreau this past spring with the opening of its Edrington Americas unit.

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