The waiting game is over as Sweden's Vin & Sprit (V&S) today announced it has formed an alliance with Jim Beam Brands to create a new company, Future Brands LLC, to distribute Absolut vodka in the US.

Around $270m will be invested by V&S in the new joint venture which will also handle JBB's portfolio in the US. A 10% equity investment worth $375m has also been made by V&S in JBB Worldwide to strengthen it's the two companies' ties.

In Europe, Maxxium will distribute V&S brands in all its major markets outside the US and Nordic region.

V&S will become the fourth and equal partner to the existing Maxxium shareholders which include Remy Cointreau and Highland Distillers as well as JBB.

This means acquiring a 25% equity stake through a Eur107m investment. With the addition of V&S brands Maxxium's annual case volume is expected to grow to about 18m cases and a turnover of close to EUR1.8bn.

JBB Worldwide president and CEO Rich Reese said: "Absolut and Jim Beam are a perfect match. Combining the strength of these premium brands with our powerful distribution network instantly increases both partners market clout while reducing costs.

"Vin & Sprits equity investment in Jim Beam brands will even further align our further interests, enabling both partners to benefit from our vast collective experience in brand building marketing and sales execution."