March 30, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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This week marks a step-change for the Maxxium Worldwide venture. Rémy Cointreau will tomorrow (31 March) complete its long-awaited exit from the distribution partnership, following in the footsteps of Sweden's Vin & Sprit, which left last year after being bought by Pernod Ricard.
From Wednesday (1 April), the remaining two partners – The Edrington Group and Beam Global Spirits & Wine – will forge ahead with a new distribution alliance.
Under the new system, Beam and Edrington will have separate sales teams in certain markets, but will share resources in 18 countries across Europe and Asia Pacific. Edrington, for example, has set up wholly-owned sales and distribution teams for South Korea and Taiwan, as well as for Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
Both companies have said that they expect to profit from having more feet on the ground working solely for their brands.
Remy, meanwhile, has been busy setting up its own arrangements. Last week, it extended its deal with Roust, the distributor of Russian Standard Vodka, in Russia.
The timing of the splintering of Maxxium certainly appears fortuitous for the two remaining companies. The talk when Remy Cointreau announced its departure in late-2006 was that the French company was gearing itself up for a sale. While Remy does still remain available, a sale of the firm now looks highly unlikely, especially with Remy securing alternative distribution arrangements, with the likes of William Grant in Europe.
No such speculation has emerged this time round, meanwhile, regarding Beam Global or Edrington. The current economic climate, therefore, looks like a pretty safe time for the second division of drinks companies.
So long as they can weather the storm.
On the features front last week here on just-drinks, we reviewed IFE 2009, which was held in London earlier this month. Our resident rent-a-mouth, Chris Losh, meanwhile, gave his humble opinion on the proposed solutions to Scotland's binge-drinking culture. Both make for interesting reads.
Finally, don't forget we're on Twitter now – get involved or get left behind.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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