While Maxxiums Travel Retail unit will close, the Beam Suntory/Edrington JV lives on in several domestic markets

While Maxxium's Travel Retail unit will close, the Beam Suntory/Edrington JV lives on in several domestic markets

Edrington and Beam Suntory have called time on their Travel Retail sales, marketing and distribution joint venture, but have strengthened their ties in a raft of European markets.

The two companies, who updated their Maxxium partnership in 2009 after Remy Cointreau withdrew from the venture, will go it alone in the Travel Retail channel. Today's announcement follows Beam Suntory's creation of the role of global Travel Retail (GTR) MD earlier this week. Edrington set about forming a GTR unit in July.

Maxxium Travel Retail will come to an end on 1 April next year, with each company expected to “create an independent distribution business for the travel retail channel”.

At the same time, Beam Suntory is shifting its “legacy Suntory brands”, including the Morrison Bowmore Scotch portfolio, to the Maxxium unit it jointly operates with Edrington in Spain, Russia and the UK. Edrington will also handle Morrison Bowmore's and Beam Suntory's Japanese whisky brands in the Nordic countries.

“The newly-expanded Beam Suntory premium ranges creates the right moment to focus on our own portfolio in the travel retail channel,” said Albert Baladi, Beam Suntory's president of Europe/Middle East/Africa. “We look forward to driving outperformance in this channel and across Maxxium’s joint venture markets.”

Suntory completed its US$16bn purchase of Beam Inc in April.