US: Beam Global hails "full and clear control"
Beam Global Wine & Spirits has finished a busy week in its strategy to seize back "full and clear control" of its various businesses, group president Tom Flocco has told just-drinks.
In a lively end to the summer, Beam Global's parent company, Fortune Brands, has agreed to wind up Beam's joint distribution deal in the US with Vin & Sprit, Future Brands.
The company has also redrawn its global distribution venture, Maxxium, with fellow shareholder The Edrington Group. The remaining shareholders, Vin & Sprit - which Beam was pipped to buying earlier this year by Pernod Ricard - and Remy Cointreau, are both set to exit Maxxium in the next seven months.
From 1 April, Beam and Edrington will take joint ownership of Maxxium businesses in ten markets, including UK, Russia, China and Spain. Beam will then handle distribution for both firms in eight markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada, while Edrington will be responsible for Scandinavian markets, as well as Taiwan and Korea.
Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today (5 September), Beam Global's president and CEO, Tom Flocco, hailed the busy week as a chance to simplify matters at the company.
"Very soon after the outcome about V&S was clear, we set off to work out how to get back full and clear control of our business," Flocco said. "Some of the partnerships we went into, such as Future Brands in the US and Maxxium outside the US, were necessary at the time when we needed more scale in route-to-market. So, they made sense at the time."
Flocco also said that, since entering into the two distribution agreement, Beam had become "a much more different company ... with organic growth and bringing in the Allied Domecq brands".
Following the end of Future Brands in the US, from 1 October, Beam "now has full control back of our sales force in the US", Flocco said. The redrawing of Maxxium has "allowed us to take an extraordinary amount of complexity out of our route-to-market around the world", he added.
When asked about the future for the current Maxxium entity, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, Flocco said: "We will be working closely with Maxxium and its representatives to eventually phase out the Amsterdam overseeing level, and push that decision-making down into the local markets. In Spain, for example, we'll have somebody who runs the alliance's sales force and they'll report in to the joint MDs for Beam and Edrington in that market. That's much smoother and more direct than what we have today."
Although Flocco said the two companies intend to look to Amsterdam as a "support" for the alliance going forward, with shared functions such as IT and logistics, Flocco added: "Whether it stays in that location, it's too early to say, depending on discussions going forward."
"What's important for us is the talent in Maxxium, and making sure that the best that we have out of Maxxium is part of our go-forward solution. It's going to have a different form. It doesn't mean that the people and the talent in there won't take a different form in either our organisation, Edrington's organisation or the alliance's sales force."
Remy Cointreau is set to leave the venture at the end of March next year.
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