Portugal's Sogrape Vinhos SA, owners of the Sandeman Port & Sherry brand, has announced that as from 28th February 2005 the sales and marketing of Sandeman in the UK will move from Pernod Ricard UK  to Stevens Garnier.

"The Sandeman brand has historic importance in the UK, and we all believe that this is a better portfolio fit and will allow its development within a more focused environment" said Salvador Guedes, president of Sogrape Vinhos SA. "The move does not the affect the existing global distribution agreement with Pernod-Ricard".

"We fully support the transfer of Sandeman to Stevens Garnier. This move enables Pernod Ricard to increase its focus on its core spirits & wine brands" said Paul Duffy CEO Pernod Ricard UK.

"We look forward to the challenges and opportunities of this important new addition to our portfolio," said Alastair Stevens, chairman of Stevens Garnier.  "We are seeing significant sales growth for Sogrape's quality DOC Portuguese wines and the Argentine wines from Finca Flichman. The addition of the Sandeman Ports, Sherries and Brandy de Jerez to our portfolio will allow us to open up new distribution opportunities for the brands."

Founded in 1790 in London, Sandeman was the first branded Port sold in the UK. Sandeman was acquired by Sogrape Vinhos SA in 2002.