Brown-Forman and Bacardi Announce Distribution Arrangements in Several European Markets
Louisville, KY, March 31, 2010 – Brown-Forman announced today that the company and Bacardi Limited have agreed on distribution arrangements in several European markets.
Brown-Forman and Bacardi have agreed to renew contracts for Bacardi to distribute Brown-Forman brands in Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Andorra, and for Brown-Forman to continue to distribute Bacardi brands in the Czech Republic. All these agreements are effective May 1, 2010.
Brown-Forman also announced that in Russia it has been in ongoing negotiations with Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCH Russia) to distribute its full portfolio of brands. Coca Cola Hellenic already distributes Brown-Forman brands in Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and The Ukraine. Bacardi has been Brown-Forman’s distributor in Russia for the last five years and that contract expires September 30, 2010.
Brown-Forman further announced that the Brand New Day Drinks Company BV will distribute Brown-Forman’s brands in The Netherlands, effective May 1. Bacardi has been Brown-Forman’s distributor in The Netherlands for the last eight years.
“Brown Forman has enjoyed a unique relationship with Bacardi in a number of markets across the globe over many years. Our existing arrangements in the U.S. and the U.K. and the renewed agreements in these European markets underscore our commitment to continue to seek mutually beneficial ways to collaborate where it makes strategic sense for both companies. We highly value our partnership with Bacardi and look forward to continuing this successful business relationship in the future,” said Paul Varga, Brown-Forman’s chief executive officer.
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, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, Woodford Reserve, and Bonterra. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,000 employees and sold in approximately 135 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://localhost/.
Important Information on Forward-Looking Statements:
This report contains statements, estimates, and projections that are “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Words such as “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “will,” “may,” “anticipate,” “project,” and similar words identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date we make them. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors (many beyond our control) that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or from our current expectations or projections. These risks and other factors include, but are not limited to:
• Prolonged or deepening global economic downturn or renewed turmoil in financial and equity markets (and related credit and capital market instability and illiquidity; decreased consumer and trade spending; higher unemployment; supplier, customer or consumer credit or other financial problems; inventory fluctuations at distributors, wholesalers, or retailers; bank failures or governmental nationalizations; etc.)
• competitors’ pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing or free goods), marketing, product introductions, or other competitive activities aimed at our brands
• trade or consumer reaction to our product line extensions or marketing activities
• prolonged or deeper declines in consumer confidence or spending, whether related to global economic conditions, wars, natural disasters, weather, pandemics, terrorist attacks or other factors
• changes in tax rates (including excise, sales, corporate, individual income, dividends, capital gains) or in related reserves, changes in tax rules (e.g., LIFO, foreign income deferral, U.S. manufacturing deduction) or accounting standards, tariffs, or other restrictions affecting beverage alcohol, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
• trade or consumer resistance to price increases in our products
• tighter governmental restrictions on our ability to produce, sell, price, or market our products, including advertising and promotion
• business disruption, decline or costs related to reductions in workforce or other cost-cutting measures
• lower returns on pension assets, higher interest rates on debt, or significant changes in recent inflation rates (whether up or down)
• fluctuations in the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, especially the euro, British pound, Australian dollar, or Polish zloty
• changes in consumer behavior including further reduction of bar, restaurant, hotel and other on-premise business; shifts to discount store purchases or shifts away from premium-priced products; other price-sensitive consumer behavior; or further reductions in travel
• changes in consumer preferences, societal attitudes or cultural trends that result in reduced consumption of our products
• distribution arrangement decisions that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or that result in implementation-related costs
• adverse impacts resulting from our acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, business partnerships, or portfolio strategies
• lower profits, due to factors such as fewer used barrel sales, lower production volumes (either for our own brands or those of third parties), sales mix shift toward lower priced or lower margin skus, or cost increases in energy or raw materials, such as grapes, grain, agave, wood, glass, plastic, or closures
• climatic changes, agricultural uncertainties, our suppliers’ financial hardships or other factors that affect the availability or quality of grapes, agave, grain, glass, closures, plastic, or wood
• negative publicity related to our company, brands, personnel, operations, business performance or prospects
• product counterfeiting, tampering, or contamination and resulting negative effects on our sales, brand equity, or corporate reputation
• adverse developments stemming from state, federal or other governmental investigations of beverage alcohol industry business, trade, or marketing practices by us, our distributors, or retailers
• impairment in the recorded value of any assets, including receivables, inventory, fixed assets, goodwill or other intangibles