News Briefs

Skyy Spirits LLC, San Francisco, has received exclusive U.S. distribution rights for Midori Melon Liqueur, Zen Green Tea Liqueur, Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky and Akadama Plum Wine from Suntory International Corp. The brands represent more than 150,000 9-liter cases, with Midori accounting for about 90 percent of the volume.
Barton Beer’s Monarch Import Co. has extended its import agreement with Tsingtao Brewery for distribution rights to Tsingtao Beer. Monarch, which has imported Tsingtao since 1978, will remain the exclusive importer of Tsingtao Beer for the U.S. market, Bermuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Investors in Switch Beverage Co., Richmond, Va., have filed suit against a new group of investors they say are trying to acquire the bankrupt company “on the cheap,” according to a report in the Richmond Times Dispatch. The company, which makes The Switch carbonated juice products filed for bankruptcy protection last month. According to the report, Beverage Acquisition is attempting to buy the company for $750,000, while the original investors say the value is between $6 million and $8 million. The suit was filed on behalf of 10 investors, including William Hargis, co-founder and former president and chief executive officer of the company.
Cadbury Schweppes, London, has sold its European beverage business to Blackstone Group International and Lion Capital LLP for $2.17 billion. “I’m delighted that within such a short time we have achieved a firm offer for Europe Beverages at a price that reflects the quality of its brands and the strengths of its management team,” said Todd Stitzer, chief executive officer at Cadbury Schweppes, in a statement. “Following completion of a deal, we will be able to focus on our faster-growing confectionery and other beverage businesses.”