Judge & Dolph, LLC has closed a deal that creates the leading spirit, wine and malt beverage distributor in Illinois.

The partnership, announced in March and finalised today (2 July), creates an Illinois-based company with 1,100 employees and around US$850m in annual revenues that will service many of the world's top spirit, wine and malt beverage suppliers. The new operation, led by Judge & Dolph president Rockwell Wirtz, will draw upon the experience of Dallas-based Glazer's Distributors and the Wirtz Beverage Group.

Glazer's Distributors operates in 12 US states,while the Wirtz Beverage Group currently operates in five states.

"The new Judge & Dolph, LLC is about better serving our customers, proudly representing many luxury brands and beginning to map out a strategy for accelerated growth both here in Illinois and throughout North America," said Wirtz. "This new company is also about becoming the distributor of choice for customers and suppliers. We get there through innovation, embracing technology and finding new ways to help customers and suppliers benefit from a more efficient and consistent route to market."

Suppliers joining the newly-formed company include Brown-Forman, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, E & J Gallo and Constellation Wines.

"As we usher in a new era in Illinois, this really is the first of several exciting announcements that are in store," added Wirtz.