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Brown-Forman linked to Finlandia vodka off-load

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Brown-Forman has declined to comment on reports this week claiming it is looking to offload its Finlandia vodka brand.

Finlandia posted a slide in sales in Brown-Formans most recent FY results

Finlandia posted a slide in sales in Brown-Forman's most recent FY results

Late yesterday, Bloomberg cited sources familiar to the matter in an article that said the company is keen to focus its efforts on its whisk(e)y business. The report comes two weeks after Brown-Forman re-entered the single malt Scotch whisky segment through its purchase of The BenRiach Distillery Co.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Brown-Forman said the company would not comment on the report.

Brown-Forman's march on premium whisk(e)y – Click here for a just-drinks comment

The group initially bought a 45% stake in Finlandia from Finland's Altia Group in 2000. It then took majority control in late-2002, when it bought a further 35% from Altia, before taking full control in November 2004.

According to Bloomberg, the brand cost Brown-Forman around US$200m.

In Brown-Forman's most recent set of full-year results, for the 12 months to the end of April 2015, Finlandia saw its sales fall by 5% year-on-year. The company blamed the introduction in early-2014 of a 15% increase on excise duty for strong alcohol in Poland – the brand's biggest market - for the slide.

As well as Finlandia, Brown-Forman also owns the Little Black Dress brand.

Spirits in the US - How are the big players performing? - Click here for a just-drinks analysis


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