Russian Standard Vodka is to be distributed in South East Asia by Maxxium Worldwide, with Maxxium partner Beam Global Spirits & Wine set to take lead responsibility and eventual distribution control in the region, just-drinks understands.

Maxxium South East Asia will distribute Russian Standard's entire portfolio, including Original, Platinum, Gold and Imperia, the groups said yesterday (3 February).

Maxxium partner Beam Global Spirits & Wine told just-drinks today (4 February) that distribution would pass to it once the Maxxium venture has been dissolved at the end of March.

Maxxium Worldwide will break up following the planned exit of Remy Cointreau on 31 March, to be succeeded by an international distribution alliance between remaining partners Beam Global and The Edrington Group.

A spokesperson for Beam said that the US-based firm, owned by Fortune Brands, would take the lead in South East Asia, effectively becoming the distributor for Russian Standard.

The spokesperson said that Beam was "very excited" by the prospect of linking up with Russian Standard. He praised the Russian group for its ambition and willingness to invest in its brands.

Mykola Kuzemko, export director for Russian Standard, said South East Asia's young population has made it fertile ground for spirits firms. "Volume in the vodka category has nearly doubled in the last four years," Kuzemko said. "Our expansion in Asia is a significant step in meeting our goal of becoming a global leader in the premium vodka market."