Brown-Forman Sales and Marketing Agreements with Wray & Nephew and Distell to End
Louisville, KY, January 7, 2008 – Brown-Forman Corporation announced today that its U.S. agreement with Wray & Nephew Group Limited of Jamaica and its agreement with Distell Group Limited of South Africa will be ending. The decisions are unrelated and conclude six-year marketing relationships between Brown-Forman and the two separate companies.
In the U.S. agreement with Wray & Nephew, Brown-Forman has marketed and sold Appleton, Wray & Nephew, and Coruba rums since October, 2001. Brown-Forman and Wray & Nephew have grown the total range of rums in the U.S. from annual sales of 96,500 nine-liter cases in 2001 to approximately 180,000 cases in 2007. The strategic marketing focus on the premium Appleton Estate range yielded growth from under 20,000 cases in 2001 to a current annual total of over 50,000 nine-liter cases.
Brown-Forman will represent Wray & Nephew brands through April, 2008 or until Wray & Nephew reaches agreement with a new importing partner.
Under the agreement with Distell, Brown-Forman has marketed and sold Amarula cream liqueur and Durbanville Hills wines in the U.S. and the Caribbean, and Durbanville Hills wines in the United Kingdom. Distell and Brown-Forman introduced Amarula in the U.S. in October, 2001 and the brand has grown each fiscal year since then.
Beginning March 1, 2008 Amarula and Durbanville Hills wines will be distributed in the United States by A.V. Brands, based in Columbia, Maryland.
“We are proud of the growth of the Appleton rum brands under Brown-Forman’s stewardship and of our accomplishments on Amarula cream liqueur over the last six years. We feel that each of the brands is stronger today then when we began our work, and also believe they are positioned well for further development,” stated Paul Varga, Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer. “We wish both Wray & Nephew and Distell well in their future efforts and thank our employees and distributor partners for their excellent work on behalf of these brands,” added Varga.
Wray & Nephew is Jamaica’s leading producer and marketer of premium rums.
Distell is South Africa’s leading producer and marketer of fine wines, spirits, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs).
Brown-Forman is a producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodkas, Herradura and el Jimador tequilas, Fetzer Wines, and Korbel California Champagnes.