Sazerac Acquires McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky
SAZERAC COMPANY ANNOUNCES THE PURCHASE OF SELECTED BRANDS AND MANUFACTURING FACILITYStrategic Acquisition Marks Further Expansion in CanadaLouisville, KY, Sept. 28, 2011 – Sazerac Company, Inc. (Sazerac) announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase from Corby Distilleries Limited (Corby) certain Corby-owned brands as well as the shares of its subsidiary that owns the manufacturing and bottling facility in Montréal, Québec, for a purchase price of $32.9 million, plus the value of inventory on hand at closing. The transaction is expected to close on October 31, 2011.The transaction involves the purchase of 17 brands, including De Kuyper Geneva Gin, De Kuyper Peachtree Schnapps, Red Tassel Vodka and Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky, as well as the Montréal-based manufacturing facility where a significant portion of the brands are produced. On closing, all employees of the facility will be employed by Sazerac, and a number of Corby-owned brands will continue to be blended, bottled and warehoused in the facility through a contract manufacturing agreement entered into with Sazerac.“Canada has become an important market for Sazerac over the past decade and we are delighted to be able to further increase our presence in the market. We are particularly pleased at the prospect of being able to develop the De Kuyper brand in Canada,” added Mark Brown, Sazerac president and chief executive officer.“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement on this strategic divestiture,” commented Patrick O’Driscoll, Corby president and chief executive officer. “We had some brand overlap in certain spirit categories and this transaction helps us streamline our portfolio with a more focused and targeted collection of brands, as part of our brand prioritization strategy. It also frees up more of our resources to create growth opportunities for our priority brands including Wiser's Canadian Whisky, Lamb's Rum, Polar Ice Vodka and McGuinness Liqueurs; resulting in increased shareholder value.”The large majority of Corby’s remaining brands will continue to be manufactured in the Hiram Walker & Sons Limited facility located near Windsor, Ontario, which is managed by Corby on behalf of Pernod Ricard S.A.“Corby is committed to a strategy of value growth and a focused brand portfolio that positions us for long-term growth in key categories with premium spirits and wines,” added O’Driscoll. “This divestiture is an important step in moving that strategy forward.”Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky was first produced at the McGuinness Distillery in Toronto, Ontario. In the 1980s production was moved to the Corby distillery in Corbyville, near Belleville, Ontario. When the Corbyville distillery closed, production was again moved, this time to the Hiram Walker distillery in Walkerville Ontario, where it is still produced. Early versions of the McGuinness "Tassel" line included the classic 1971 Gold Tassel pictured above. Gold Tassel was discontinued several decades ago in favour of Silk Tassel.About The Sazerac CompanySazerac is based in New Orleans, Louisiana and is one of New Orleans’ oldest family owned, privately held companies. The company has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and now, Montreal, Canada. For more information, please visit www.sazerac.com.About Corby Distilleries LimitedCorby's portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including Wiser's Canadian Whisky, Lamb's Rum, Polar Ice Vodka and McGuinness Liqueurs. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT vodka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Ballantine's Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Beefeater gin, Malibu rum, Kahlúa liqueur, Mumm champagne, and Jacob's Creek, Wyndham Estate and Graffigna wines.