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Beam sells off value brands

Beam has moved to strengthen its premium focus with the $65 million disposal of several value spirits brands to Missouri-based firm Luxco.

The brands involved are Wolfschmidt US vodka; Calvert Canadian whisky and gin; Bellows blended Kentucky whiskey, Bourbon, gin, rum, scotch and vodka; Dark Eyes vodka; Canada House Canadian whiskey and Tempo triple sec.

Distributed in the US, last year the brands generated a combined revenue of around $30m and volume sales of about 1.8m cases.

Outlining the strategy behind this sale, Matt Shattock, president and CEO of Beam Inc, explained: “Following the premium brand acquisitions we’ve made in the past two years, this move reduces portfolio complexity in economy vodka and Canadian whisky, and reinforces Beam’s focus on developing our Power Brands and Rising Stars, which are our most profitable growth engines.”

Since its split from Fortune Brands, Beam has made a number of high profile acquisitions, including the $605m purchase of Pinnacle vodka and $95m deal for Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

Commenting on the new additions to its own portfolio, Luxco chairman and CEO Donn Lux, said: “We are thrilled to be adding these brands to our portfolio. Beam has done a great job in establishing them across many markets and categories. We look forward to expanding them further and bolstering our entire portfolio with our distributors.”

The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of January, will see Beam continue to produce and bottle these brands until at least January 2014.

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