US drinks giants to split in the UK

Bacardi and Brown-Forman will go it alone from next year

Bacardi drinks
Bacardi and Brown-Forman will go their separate ways early next year.

DRINKS giants Bacardi and Brown-Forman have moved to reassure Scottish licensees that it will be “business as usual” following their decision to part ways in the UK.

The companies have operated a joint distribution business in the UK since 2002 under the banner of Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands.

But last week the businesses announced that the current agreement, which extends to April 2020, will not be renewed.

Under the current deal both companies market their brands separately in the UK, but Bacardi is responsible for sales and logistics.

A statement from both firms said the businesses “have grown their respective positions in the UK marketplace since they began their agreement 17 years ago and both agree that the time is now right for the two companies to take control of their own businesses and portfolios in the UK”.

Brown-Forman will now establish its own distribution company in the UK while Bacardi focuses its resources exclusively on its own portfolio.

The joint statement said: “Business will continue under the current agreement until the end of April 2020.

“Bacardi and Brown-Forman are working closely to ensure a seamless transition.”
And Bacardi communications director for Europe, Andrew Carney, told SLTN that for Scottish licensees “it’s business as usual for the time being”.

In addition to Bacardi itself, Bacardi’s brands include Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose and Patrón as well as blended Scotch whisky Dewar’s and the Aberfeldy Distillery.

Brown-Forman’s portfolio includes Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia and the BenRiach Distillery Company – which owns the BenRiach, Glenglassaugh and Glendronach distilleries.