Beam Acquires Pinnacle for $605M

FILED APRIL 23, 2012

Dear Client:

Yes, you're reading that correctly. Beam Inc. announced this morning it has reached an agreement with White Rock Distillers to acquire Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands and other related assets for $605 million in cash.

Pinnacle is expected to exceed 3 million 9-liter cases in 2012, said the company, and obviously greatly enhances Beam's presence in the vodka category. Currently it is the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the United States. In fact, Pinnacle's unflavored flagship vodka was the fastest growing non-flavored imported vodka in 2011.

"With the synergy-driven addition of Pinnacle, which will become one of our largest Power Brands, Beam will further enhance its ability to maximize value for shareholders," said Beam chief Matt Shattock. "With our plans to substantially increase brand investment in Pinnacle, plus our marketing and innovation capabilities and our global distribution assets, we look forward to taking Pinnacle to the next level and establishing Beam as a leader in the sizeable vodka category."

"We've built Pinnacle into the fastest-growing spirits brand in the U.S., and I'm pleased to see it find a home at Beam, a fast-growing spirits leader committed to building great brands. I'm confident the team at Beam will utilize their tremendous reach, scale and passion to take Pinnacle to even greater heights and establish it as one of the spirits industry's truly iconic vodka brands. Everyone at White Rock can be very proud of what we've built and very excited about where Pinnacle is headed in the future," said Paul Coulombe, ceo of White Rock Distilleries.

Beam expects to finance the acquisition with either existing credit facilities or new debt, or a combination of both. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012.

Read our recent interview with White Rock president Bill Dabbelt here:

Until later, Megan

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