The merger between Distillers' Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW) has started impacting on its business, resulting in an amicable termination of a 50-year-old relationship with Bols Royal Distilleries.

Distell will be divesting of this important brand, including Bols Brandy, the tenth biggest brandy in South Africa, which has a 3% share of the market, as of 1 September 2001.

Edward Snell & Co of Cape Town has won the contract to produce and distribute the 10 products in the range. Some of the products are imported. David Hooper, MD of Edward Snell & Co was not available for comment.

"Bols brandy is well established and one of the leading brandies in this country, but a rapidly changing business environment has meant that our respective priorities have diverged to such an extent that we have agreed to go our separate ways," said André Steyn, corporate affairs manager for Distell.

"We had a very good relationship, but each of us has to look after our own interests, and we part company on the best of terms," said Klaas Zaalberg, Bols Regional Director for Africa.

Steyn said there were no plans to divest of any other Distell product ranges.