Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine North America has handed a long-term distribution agreement to Southern Wine & Spirits of America, which will give SWS the exclusive distribution rights to Allied Domecq's full portfolio of spirits and wine brands in the states of California and Hawaii.

SWS will utilise a committed sales division to distribute all of Allied Domecq's brands, such as Kahlúa, Stolichnaya, Sauza, Beefeater, Malibu, Canadian Club and Courvoisier,.

Jim Clerkin, president of Allied Domecq Spirits, North America and Bill Newlands, president of Allied Domecq Wines, USA in a joint statement said: "SWS was selected because it is the best in market with the best business assets for our brands and we are confident that the contracts signed with SWS will give us a competitive advantage in California and Hawaii. Our 'First Choice Supplier' philosophy combined with our extensive premium portfolio along with more than 1000 sales personnel will ensure Allied Domecq is in a position to fully cover 20,000 retail accounts in California and Hawaii while seamlessly delivering Allied Domecq's world-class brands to our consumers."

In the statement Allied Domecq said its strategic US distributor selections were based on market-by-market business opportunities.

"Allied Domecq's long-term contracts with SWS brings our 'First Choice Supplier' philosophy to life, featuring a new way of partnering with our exclusive distributors, including state-of-the-art performance agreements, increased investment in market spending and more "feet on the street" than any other sales force in the market place. We are confident Allied Domecq will be SWS's 'First Choice Supplier.' Allied Domecq's relationship with SWS will demonstrate how we and our distributor partners can jointly invest to deliver unparalleled growth," Alledi said.

"Allied Domecq's dynamic portfolio of spirits and wine brands generate significant value to our business," said Wayne Chaplin, President of SWS. "Allied Domecq is one of the leading spirits and wine suppliers in the industry and this long-term relationship will allow our focused sales force of 1000 to represent a terrific portfolio of brands. We will promote Allied Domecq's business with the most seasoned sales force in California and Hawaii."

Harvey Chaplin, chairman and CEO of SWS, said: "Having been named the sole distributor for Allied Domecq in California and Hawaii speaks to the confidence that spirits and wine suppliers have in our people and demonstrates our ability to deliver unparalleled value to California and Hawaii retailers and consumers. The contracts signed today with Allied Domecq further builds upon a broad, multi-state relationship between our two organizations that currently covers Arizona, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and South Carolina in addition to California and Hawaii."