BEAM GLOBAL SPIRITS & WINE ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SELL COCKBURN’S PORT TO SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES
PLEASE NOTE: This deal is still subject to UK merger clearance
Oporto, Portugal (7th October, 2010) – Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), today announced plans to divest the Cockburn’s Port brand to Symington Family Estates, the leading producer of premium quality ports.
This transaction builds on the long-standing business relationship between Beam Global and the Symington family. Most recently, the Symington group, which currently produces all Cockburn’s Ports, acquired the Cockburn’s vineyards and wineries in 2006 and signed a production agreement with Beam Global, who retained ownership and world-wide distribution for the brand.
Following the transaction, the Symington family intends to apply their skill and expertise in the production of Port, which dates back for generations, to the further development and growth of Cockburn’s around the world.
“This is a ‘win-win’ for both our companies and a logical next step for the brand,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director Beam Global International Donard Gaynor. “Symington has been a great producer of Cockburn’s for years, and this transaction allows both of our companies to focus our dedicated resources and efforts on driving continued, accelerated growth of our core categories of excellence.”
“Cockburn’s is one of the greatest names in Port with a unique history in the Douro valley,” said Symington Family Estates Joint Managing Director Paul Symington. “We look forward to applying the centuries of experience that our family has in Port to this magnificent brand.”
Beam Global will continue to distribute Cockburn’s Port in select markets. Subject to UK merger control approval, the transaction is expected to officially close by the end of 2010.
About Beam Global Spirits & Wine:
Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Maker's Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, EFFEN® Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, Teacher's® Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper® Cordials and Liqueurs and Knob Creek® Bourbon. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.
About Symington Family Estates:
The Symingtons have been Port producers for five generations since 1882 but their involvement in Port dates back fourteen generations to 1652 through their great-grandmother Beatrice Atkinson. The family company is the leading quality Port producer with brands such as Graham’s, Dow’s and Warre’s as well as being the leading vineyard owner in the Douro valley with 940 hectares (2,322 acres) of vines at 25 Quintas. Many of the region’s finest Quintas belong to the family. For More information on Symington Family Estates, visit http://www.symington.com
© 2010 Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., Deerfield, Ill.