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Beam extends US vodka influence

Beam is set to become a leading vodka player in the US, after it agreed to purchase Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum from White Rock Distilleries.

The deal, priced at $605 million, could see Pinnacle become Beam’s biggest-volume brand in  the US market by year-end, overtaking its flagship bourbon.

Pinnacle sold 2.7m cases on 93% growth last year, according to Impact Databank.

Growth of 50% this year would bring Pinnacle to just over 4m cases, well ahead of Jim Beam Bourbon, which rose 4% to 3.4m cases in 2011.

The deal comes just three months after Beam became a major player in the fast-rising Irish whiskey category when it acquired Cooley Distillery for US$95m.

Beam CEO Matt Shattock said the company will “substantially increase brand investment” in Pinnacle, which unveiled its first TV ads this year.

Beam said it doesn’t expect the acquisition to affect its 2012 earnings, but said it will boost its 2013 results by between 5 cents and 10 cents per share in 2013 and more in the next year and beyond.

Pinnacle vodka makes both unflavoured and flavoured variations, including a line of whipped dessert flavoured vodkas.


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