Pernod Ricard, Fortune Brands Eye  Allied Domecq
Pernod Ricard, Paris, and Fortune Brands, Lincolnshire, Ill., confirmed they are considering a $13-billion bid for London’s Allied Domecq. At presstime, the companies would only say that discussions were in an early phase and no guarantee of an offer existed.
If a successful bid is made, Fortune, owner of Jim Beam Brands, and Pernod Ricard would split Allied’s products, such as Beefeater Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka, Malibu Rum and Courvoisier Cognac, between them. BI
Brown-Forman shifts distribution in Europe
Brown-Forman announced it has reorganized its distribution agreements in Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia.   “Following a comprehensive strategic review of the opportunities for our brands in Europe, Africa and Eurasia, as well as an assessment of distribution options available to us, we have decided to implement new forward-looking distribution arrangements to help us accelerate the development of our brands in these important markets,” said Brown-Forman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Owsley Brown II.
The company will continue to partner with Bacardi in Germany, but assume more control over marketing there. Bacardi also will handle distribution in Russia. In Italy, it will work with Campari, and in Spain it will partner with Viesa. BI
Cola companies shuffle executive lineups
Soft drink companies Coca-Cola, Atlanta, and Pepsi-Cola, Purchase, N.Y., both recently announced major management changes. Mary Minnick, who has run Coca-Cola’s Asia operations, has been named head of marketing, innovation and strategic growth in Atlanta. Dominique Reiniche will move from senior vice president of Coca-Cola Enterprises and president of its European group to become president of the newly formed European Union group at The Coca-Cola Co. Former Coca-Cola executive Muhtar Kent will return to the company as head of its North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East business, and Patrick Siewert, president of the company’s East and South Asia division, will run the Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim operations.
Tom Long, president of Coca-Cola’s Northwest Europe division, will leave Coca-Cola in July to become executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Miller Brewing Co. He succeeds Miller’s Bob Mikulay, who is retiring.
For Pepsi’s part, Gary Rodkin, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Beverages and Foods North America, announced he will leave the company. His job has been divided into two positions, with Dawn Hudson taking over as president and chief executive officer at Pepsi-Cola North America, and John Compton as president and chief executive officer of QTG, PepsiCo’s Quaker Foods and Gatorade/Tropicana division, in the United States and Canada.
PepsiCo also has created a new corporate oversight council to make decisions about strategy and resource allocation for research and development and other areas. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Reinemund and President and Chief Financial Officer Indra Nooyi will serve on the council.
Brewing awards choose drinktec as new venue
For the first time in its 119-year history, the Brewing Industry International Awards will move from the United Kingdom this year, to be held in conjunction with drinktec 2005 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre, Sept. 12-18 in Munich, Germany.
Organizers of the awards, which originated in Burton on Trent, England, say the move is intended to boost awareness in the brewing world, which will be highly represented at drinktec. More than 80,000 visitors from around the world are expected to attend  drinktec this year. All attendees will have free access to observe the judging of the brewing awards, which will take place during the second, third and fourth days of the six-day show.
The brewing competitions are a new feature for drinktec, and will include close collaboration between drinktec organizers, Messe München GmbH, and competition organizers, Brewing Technology Services Ltd. (BTS).
New venue, same brewing focus
During its 119-year history, the Brewing Industry International Awards have been based in Britain's brewing capital, Burton on Trent, but organizers say the new move to Bavaria offers a location with a similarly renowned brewing tradition. They believe it will significantly increase awareness among brewers in emerging markets who will be visiting the exhibition to view the latest in beverage technology and services.
The change of location also moves the event to a different season, and the biennial competition is expected to return to the United Kingdom in autumn 2007, with the possibility of co-location with drinktec 2009 to be determined after this year's event.
More than 820 beers from a record 48 countries competed in last year’s awards, and both of those figures are expected to increase this year due to the appeal of drinktec, a move away from other conflicting industry events and a call-for-entries period that is clear of the winter holidays when most breweries are at their busiest.
The call-for-entries period for this year’s awards will occur during the May to July period, and the entry fee is expected to remain the same as 2004. Entries are judged on a product’s commercial appeal, and are evaluated only by experienced, currently practicing brewers from around the world. Organizers say the competitions are structured in a way that allows nearly every beer brewed in the world to find a place in one of its eight categories and 24 sub-classes. Further information can be found at