Tony Hammond, the founder and chairman of independent wine and spirit merchant Hammonds of Knutsford, has died at the age of 79.

Stock Spirits, the leading spirits business in Central and Eastern Europe, has announced that Miroslaw Stachowicz has been an independent non-executive director with immediate effect.

The Stoli Group has announced the appointment of two new distribution companies - Premier Wines & Spirits as its Czech Republic distributor and Panna Cocktail as its Hungary distributor, both for Stolichnaya and elit by Stolichnaya.

SABMiller has extended the deadline for rival Anheuser-Busch InBev to make a formal takeover offer.

Xavier Beysecker, currently VP marketing, Absolut at the Absolut Company has been appointed VP Digital of Pernod Ricard Asia, effective as of November 1.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reached agreement in principle to buy SABMiller for £68bn, the completion of which would make the new company the producer of one in three beers sold globally.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has expressed surprise at SABMiller rejection of its bid to take over the company.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is lining up banks including Bank of America Corp. and Banco Santander SA to arrange as much as US$70 billion in financing as it prepares to make a takeover proposal for SABMiller Plc, according to reports from Bloomberg News.

Accolade Wines has appointed Paul Schaafsma as its new chief executive officer, succeeding John Ratcliffe who
 will become deputy chairman.

MillerCoors, the US and Puerto Rican joint venture between SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. has made Gavin Hattersley its chief executive officer.

Analysts at the Japanese bank, Nomura, are speculating on a merger between Diageo and South African-based global brewer, SABMiller.

Accolade Wines has entered into an agreement to sell its 50% shareholding in Matthew Clark, the UK’s largest independent drinks distributor, to Conviviality Retail Plc, one of the UK’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chains, for £100 million.

SABMiller has appointed Philip Hodges to the newly created role of group director, integrated supply and as a member of the group’s executive committee with effect from December 1, in succession to Tony van Kralingen, whose intended retirement was announced in April 2015.

The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed the UK government’s Advocate General’s opinion on the minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol.

Pernod Ricard defends results

02 September, 2015

A senior Pernod Ricard management team were in London this week (Sept 2) to clarify, explain and defend its recent 2014/15 full year results.

Diageo wants China to contribute 5% of sales in the next 10 years, reports Bloomberg News.

Kingsland Drinks, the major UK wine and spirits supplier, has announced that it is to integrate the Bottle Green business, which it bought back in April.

Pernod Ricard reports +2% organic sales growth for the financial year 2014/15 in an environment that remains “challenging”, it says.

Constellation has bought a minority share in Charles Joly’s Crafthouse Cocktails, a pre-mixed drinks company. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

The South African-based Distell Group reports that it has raised revenue by 10.4% to 19.6 billion rand on a sales volume increase of 5.7% for the 12 months to June 30, 2015.

Berry Bros & Rudd has announced the appointment of Dan Jago, Tesco’s group wine director at Tesco, as its new chief executive.

Altia, the leading Nordic and Baltic wine and spirits company, has made Petra Gräsbeck its new communications director.

The world’s largest premium drinks company has announced a net sales increase of 5% for the year ended June 30.

Board changes at Diageo

29 July, 2015

Diageo has announced the appointment of Emma Walmsley as a non-executive director effective January 1, 2016. 

Diageo has announced that Diageo, Heineken NV and the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) group, the majority shareholder of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), have agreed to restructure their South African and Namibian joint ventures.

Suntory Holdings has announced the sale of cognac group Louis Royer to the family group Terroirs Distillers, a privately-held fine spirits company based in France.

Diageo has announced the appointment of James Thompson as chief marketing and innovation Officer for North America, effective August 1.

SABMiller’s board has announced that it intends to appoint Domenic De Lorenzo as an executive director and as chief financial officer with effect from the conclusion of the forthcoming annual general meeting, to be held on July 23.

Diageo has announced the sale of Gleneagles Hotel to a private investment group led by Ennismore for an undisclosed amount.

Deidre Mahlan to be appointed president, Diageo North America. Tom Looney is appointed president, open and control states; Tom Day is becomes president, Diageo-Guinness USA and Jeff Ivey takes on national accounts leadership.

Vinexpo says 48,500 people visited its recent Bordeaux show, claiming that is stable with 2013.

Diageo and its subsidiary in India, United Spirits (USL), has announced phase II of the Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Programme in India.

WRAP, the organisation that promotes the use of resources sustainably, has unveiled its plan for the next five years.

Vinexpo chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre and CEO Guillaume Deglise have announced that the 2017 Vinexpo will be just four days, from Monday to Thursday.

Final figures on the number of visitors that visited the Bordeaux show will not be released until next week.

There are unconfirmed rumours that a private equity firm is about to bid for Diageo, the world’s largest premium drinks company.

Alexandre Ricard set his stall out yesterday (June 2) as Pernod Ricard celebrated 40 years of the two anise brands merging.

Friends of Glass, a European consumer forum that promotes glass packaging, has launched a ‘Taste of Europe’ campaign to discover how British tastes compare with those on the continent.

JB y Cia SA, the family-owned owner of Jose Cuervo tequila, plans to sell bonds to help pay for the acquisition of Northern Irish whiskey producer Bushmills, according to reports.

Beam Suntory has announced that it will simplify its regional structure by merging its four operating regions into three.

Diageo, the world’s largest premium drinks company, has announced its interim management statement for the nine months ended March 31, 2015.

Stock Spirits Group, the central and eastern European branded spirits producer, has announced that Michael Kennedy will be managing director, International and Italy from April 27.

Belvédère SA, the wine and spirits company in Europe and the US, has announced has announced the composition of its executive committee, headed by CEO Jean-Noël Reynaud.

Global Spirits, a privately held international manufacturer and marketer of wines and spirits, intends to expand its global presence by establishing an Americas Business Unit which will be based out of the company’s New York office.

Harpers Wine and Spirit and have joined Off Licence News and Drinks International at Agile Media.

Economist Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae becomes the new chairman of Altia’s board. Other new members of the board are: Kim Henriksson and Kasper Madsen who bring expertise on the Nordic market.

Vinexpo is fully booked

02 April, 2015

The organisers of the Bordeaux wine and spirits show, Vinexpo, say the trade exhibition is fully booked and stand reservations for the international wine and spirits exhibition are now closed.

Edrington, the scotch whisky and rum company, has announced that Paul Hyde has appointed to its main board.

The WSTA says new research shows that price increases in the off trade have slowed since the Government scrapped the alcohol duty escalator, cut beer duty and froze duty on spirits in 2014.

The Suffolk brewer and distiller and retailer has reported sales of £66 million and a £3.8m operating profit, in its report and accounts for the 12 months to December 31, 2014.


The ‘sucker deal’ view of duty free

An article in The New York Times exploring where to find the best duty free bargains in the Americas caught my eye recently.

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