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Brown-Forman Sells Early Times, Canadian Mist, And Collingwood Brands To Sazerac

June 15, 2020

Brown-Forman has agreed to offload its Early Times, Canadian Mist, and Collingwood whisk(e)y brands to Sazerac for an undisclosed sum, along with its Canadian Mist production facilities. The deal is expected to close later this summer. According to Impact Databank, Canadian Mist was down 6.4% to 1 million cases last year, while Early Times fell 6.8% to 426,000 cases.

Brown-Forman said the deal “reflects the continued evolution of the company’s portfolio strategy to focus on premium brands.” In an interview with SND earlier this year, Brown-Forman president and CEO Lawson Whiting noted that the company has been putting greater focus on smaller but higher-priced labels like single malt Scotches GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh, and Irish whiskey Slane. “Those four whiskey brands are all performing really well, albeit off of a small base,” he said. “We have a dedicated emerging brands team working on those, focusing on the ultra-premium, heavy on-premise brands that need attention and dedication and aren’t sold right next to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.”

For Sazerac, the deal mirrors a similar play from 2016 in which the company acquired the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands from Brown-Forman for $544 million.—Daniel Marsteller

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