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News Briefs for November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

•Diageo is closing its rum maturation and warehousing operation in St. Croix by the end of next year.The spirits giant will be relocating that part of its U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) operation to Relay, Maryland, where it previously maintained a bottling plant that was shuttered in 2015. Because Captain Morgan will continue to be produced in the USVI, Diageo says the move won’t impact either local employment or the territory’s rum cover-over funds—the excise tax proceeds that the USVI receives when rum produced there is sold in the U.S. market. Diageo sells more than 6 million cases of Captain Morgan in the U.S. annually, making it the market’s third-largest spirit brand, behind portfolio mate Smirnoff and rival rum Bacardi.

•Breakthru Beverage senior executive Bruce Levine is retiring after nearly 50 years in the drinks business. Levine started his career in 1969 at the A. Asch division of Seagram and also held posts at Renfield Importers and Frederick Wildman & Sons before a near 30-year tenure as a key executive with the Charmer Sunbelt Group. Earlier this year, when Charmer Sunbelt merged with Wirtz Beverage Group to form Breakthru, Levine was appointed to his current role as vice president of business development, spirits. He’s retiring in February 2017.

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