Beverage News / Wine & Spirits

Beam announces Pinnacle acquisition

Beam Inc., Deerfield, Ill., announced a definitive agreement with White Rock Distilleries, Lewiston, Maine, to acquire Pinnacle Vodka, Calico Jack rum and other related assets for $605 million in cash. Pinnacle Vodka’s 2012 volumes are expected to exceed 3 million 9-liter cases and will significantly enhance Beam’s presence in the growing vodka category, the company said.

“Pinnacle is an excellent strategic fit for Beam, giving us a strong and exciting growth platform in the sweet-spot of the attractive vodka category,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam, in a statement. “With the synergy-driven addition of Pinnacle, which will become one of our largest power brands, Beam will further enhance its ability to maximize value for shareholders.”

Pinnacle’s portfolio includes unflavored, which was the U.S. market’s fastest-growing non-flavored imported vodka in 2011, as well as flavored vodkas, including its Whipped dessert-flavored vodkas. The vodka has a suggested retail price of $12.99 to $13.99 for a 750-ml. bottle.

The acquisition fits into Beam’s strategy of building presence in the ready-to-serve cocktails, Irish whiskey and vodka categories with bolt-on acquisitions that leverage the company’s strengths and drive return for shareholders, Shattock said in a statement. He added that Beam plans to increase its brand investment in Pinnacle and leverage the company’s marketing, innovation and global distribution assets to continue growing the brand.

Paul Coulombe, chief executive officer of White Rock Distilleries, said in a statement: “We’ve built Pinnacle into the fastest-growing spirits brand in the U.S., and I’m pleased to see it find a home at Beam, a fast-growing spirits leader committed to building great brands. I’m confident the team at Beam will utilize their tremendous reach, scale and passion to take Pinnacle to even greater heights and establish it as one of the spirits industry’s truly iconic vodka brands. Everyone at White Rock can be very proud of what we’ve built and very excited about where Pinnacle is headed in the future.”

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