Brown-Forman Acquires Maximus Vodka

Louisville, KY, June 30, 2011 - Brown-Forman Corporation announced today that it has acquired the Maximus Vodka brand from Altia, Plc.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Brown-Forman completed the acquisition of the Finlandia Vodka brand from Altia in 2004 and has served as exclusive distributor of Maximus in Poland since that time.

According to Brown-Forman, the acquisition of Maximus strengthens the company’s portfolio in Poland, one of its most important markets.  Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga stated that, “while Maximus is a relatively small acquisition and investment for our company, it is important to our strategy for the Polish market.  We know the owners, the brand, and its primary market well, and we believe there is nice growth potential for Maximus going forward.”

For 140 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve.  Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 3,900 employees and sold in approximately 135 countries worldwide.  For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.

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• declining or depressed economic conditions in our markets; political, financial, or credit or capital market instability; supplier, customer or consumer credit or other financial problems; bank failures or governmental debt defaults or nationalizations
• failure to develop or  implement effective business and brand strategies and innovations, including route-to-consumer, and marketing and promotional activity
• unfavorable trade or consumer reaction to our new products, product line extensions, or changes in formulation, packaging or pricing
• inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
• competitors’ pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing or free goods), marketing, category expansion, product introductions, entry or expansion in our markets, or other competitive activities
• declines in consumer confidence or spending, whether related to the economy (such as austerity measures, tax increases, high fuel costs, or higher unemployment), wars, natural or other disasters, weather, pandemics, security concerns, terrorist attacks or other factors
• changes in tax rates (including excise, sales, VAT, tariffs, duties, corporate, individual income, dividends, capital gains) or in related reserves, changes in tax rules (e.g., LIFO, foreign income deferral, U.S. manufacturing and other deductions) or accounting standards, or other restrictions affecting beverage alcohol, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
• governmental or other restrictions on our ability to produce, import, sell, price, or market our products, including advertising and promotion in either traditional or new media; regulatory compliance costs
• business disruption, decline or costs related to reductions in workforce or other cost-cutting measures
• lower returns or discount rates related to pension assets, interest rate fluctuations, inflation or deflation
• fluctuations in the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, especially the euro, British pound, Australian dollar, or Polish zloty
• changes in consumer behavior or preferences and our ability to anticipate and respond to them, including societal attitudes or cultural trends that result in reduced consumption of our products; reduction of bar, restaurant, hotel or other on-premise business or travel
• consumer shifts away from spirits or premium-priced spirits products; shifts to discount store purchases or other price-sensitive consumer behavior
• distribution and other route-to-consumer decisions or changes that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or result in implementation-related costs
• effects of acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, business partnerships or investments, or portfolio strategies, including integration costs, disruption or other difficulties, or impairment in the recorded value of assets (e.g. receivables, inventory, fixed assets, goodwill, trademarks and other intangibles)
• lower profits, due to factors such as fewer or less profitable used barrel sales, lower production volumes, decreased demand for products we sell, sales mix shift toward lower priced or lower margin SKUs, or cost increases in energy or raw materials, such as grain, agave, wood, glass, plastic, or closures
• natural disasters, climate change, agricultural uncertainties, environmental or other catastrophes, our suppliers’ financial hardships or other factors that affect the availability, price, or quality of agave, grain, glass, energy, closures, plastic, water, wood, or finished goods
• negative publicity related to our company, brands, marketing, personnel, operations, business performance or prospects
• product counterfeiting, tampering, contamination, or recalls and resulting negative effects on our sales, brand equity, or corporate reputation
• significant costs or other adverse developments stemming from class action, intellectual property, governmental, or other major litigation; or governmental investigations of beverage alcohol industry business, trade, or marketing practices by us, our importers, distributors, or retailers

 

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