Grey Goose Lands
Moving to fill what it called a gap in its brand portfolio, Bacardi Ltd. agreed to acquire Grey Goose vodka from Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc. Completion of the sale is expected within the next few months, pending regulatory approval. The sale price was not disclosed, but press reports speculated that Bacardi could pay around $2 billion for the premium vodka.
Announcing the sale, Bacardi issued a statement saying, “This acquisition represents a major development for Bacardi Limited. With Grey Goose, Bacardi has acquired not only a brand with an extremely attractive growth profile and premium positioning, but has fulfilled a long-stated goal of becoming a serious player in the strategically important vodka category.”
Grey Goose is distilled and bottled in Cognac, France, and is available in Original, L’Orange, Le Citron and La Vanille varieties.
FEMSA and Heineken form U.S. team
The parent companies of FEMSA Cerveza and Heineken USA signed a three-year deal that will make Heineken USA the sole and exclusive importer and marketer of FEMSA’s beer brands in the United States. The agreement is expected to become effective toward the end of the year, 120 days after FEMSA completes its announced repurchase of a 30 percent stake of FEMSA Cerveza.
Under the terms of the agreement, Heineken USA will assume responsibility for the marketing, sales and distribution of the beer brands Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia in the United States.
Both companies see the deal as a strategic fit for them. Heineken’s strategy in the United States is to grow its premium brands within the import beer segment, which happens to be the fastest-growing beer segment, and the FEMSA brands fit this strategy perfectly. FEMSA, on the other hand, is looking to broaden its distribution east of the Mississippi, and joining forces with Heineken will give it the extra distribution muscle it seeks.
Ocean Spray rejects PepsiCo deal
Independent Ocean Spray grower/owners will remain that way after narrowly rejecting a deal to form a joint venture with PepsiCo. Members of the Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass.-based cooperative voted 52 percent to 48 percent against the proposed venture.
Reinforcing the decision, Ocean Spray announced it will “cease all talks with PepsiCo and other potential investors.” The co-op’s board and management did leave the door open, though, to explore opportunities to work with other companies to maximize the potential of the Ocean Spray brand and grow profits while remaining independent.
Retired PepsiCo Chief Donald Kendall was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship medal by Russian President Vladimir Putin for bringing Pepsi-Cola to the former Soviet Union… Todd Stizer, chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes was appointed as a non-executive director to Diageo’s board… Jim Horner joined Allied Domecq Wines USA as vice president, national sales… Juan Carlos Dalto was named president and chief executive officer of Dannon Co. Dalto will have strategic and direct responsibilities for dairy products in the United States and Canada… The Beer Institute added Washington-insider Richard Goddard to its staff as director, federal government affairs... Anheuser-Busch Cos. announced changes in its corporate management. Due to the retirement of Stephen Lambright, group vice president and chief legal officer, and Donald Kloth, vice president and group executive, Mark Bobak, who is currently vice president of human resources, will replace Lambright, and James Hoffmeister, a 37-year A-B veteran, will succeed Kloth. Joseph Castellano will replace Bobak as vice president of corporate human resources...Vintner Don Sebastiani & Sons expanded its U.S. sales force by 10. The rundown is as follows: Paul Parks was named chain merchandising manager, Southern California; Adam Roper shares the same title. Dennis Tobin is district chain manager, Northern California; Michelle Morris is chain merchandising manager, Northern California; Dominic Isetta is merchandiser in the San Francisco Bay area; Clarice Martinez is district manager, San Diego territory; Brooks Jorgenson is the new area sales manager, Northwest; Rusty Boddeker is area sales manager, South Central; Marc Nasser is market manager Metro New York; and Julie Alpert is district manager Metro New York… Australia’s Foster’s Group appointed Jamie Oddell as the new managing director of Beringer Blass Wine Estates. His appointment will take effect at the end of the year...