Diageo has a agreed a broker deal with Wirtz Beverage in Canada

Diageo has a agreed a broker deal with Wirtz Beverage in Canada

Diageo has secured the services of Wirtz Beverage Group to handle its brands in Canada and appointed a new head of its operations in the country. 

The London-headquartered group said today (3 March) it has agreed a deal to make Wirtz the exclusive national broker for it beer, wine, spirits and RTD brands in the North American country. Diageo currently has its own direct sales team in Canada, but will switch to a broker model with the Wirtz agreement.  

Financial details and the length of the tie-up were not disclosed. 

Under the deal, Diageo’s brands will be handled by a dedicated sales force within Wirtz Beverage’s new Canada division. A Diageo spokesperson told just-drinks some roles from its sales team were being "impacted" by the change, but the "vast majority" will be offered roles in the new Wirtz unit. 

The division will be led by Julian Burzynski, Wirtz Beverage executive VP. 

Larry Schwartz, Diageo’s North America president said: “This arrangement with Wirtz Beverage provides us with the best of both worlds – a broker that understands our business and a dedicated Canadian sales force that knows our brands and the Canada market.”

He added: “We have seen the benefits of this model in other parts of the world and can see how it will make Canada a more agile and efficient business allowing us to further invest in Diageo and our brands.”

Meanwhile, Diageo said that it has appointed Jakob Ripshtein to replace Maggie Lapcewich as president of its Canada division. Ripshtein will assume the role from July 1. A Diageo spokesperson said Lapcewich's is leaving the group and her next role will be announced at "a later date".