Southern Wine & Spirits of America will take a majority ownership in a newly formed company in Mississippi, Wine & Spirits of Mississippi. The new entity will be a partnership with D.J. Koenig & Associates, Inc., of Jackson, Mississippi.

Wayne E. Chaplin, president and COO of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, said: "We are excited about our expansion into Mississippi and to partner with David Koenig, whose understanding and experience in the local marketplace will be invaluable as we look to add more value to our trading partners. Our continued expansion into the Control State arena is a critical part of our overall supplier- and customer-centric growth strategy. This is especially true following our acquisition of United's Control State operations in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, North Carolina and Virginia, together with our existing presence in Pennsylvania."

Koenig said: "Our team is thrilled to be joining the Southern family, and we all look forward to working closely with the Company's senior management to ensure our suppliers and their brands are well represented throughout the state and that we continue to enhance our service-oriented programs with our customers."

Chaplin added, "We intend on adding manpower and resources to the Mississippi operation to ensure that the current suppliers achieve greater coverage that is second to none in this competitive market."

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor, with current operations in 19 states.