A Southern, Glazer's Tie-up Could be on the Way

FILED OCTOBER 21, 2015

Southern Wine & Spirits and Glazer's Distributors, the first and fourth largest distributors in the US, have been dancing around a partnership for years, but they may finally be closing in on a deal, multiple high-level sources close to the issue have told WSD. Though your editors have not heard enough to make us feel comfortable releasing any terms of the potential deal at this time.

You may recall, Glazer's and Southern Wine & Spirits made the decision to go in on a joint venture back in 2008 [see WSD 08-01-2008]. But a year later the joint venture was called off, a decision "driven by the sheer complexity of the transaction" [see WSD 09-01-2009].

The failed joint venture would have resulted in a mega-distributor spanning the 38 states that represent more than 80% of the total wine and spirits volume in the US. But now their reach is even larger. If a Glazer's and Southern partnership does pan out, they would have a 42-state footprint, D.C., Canada and the Virgin Islands.

Texas-based Glazer's operates in 17 markets -- AL, AZ, AR, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OH, OK, TN, TX, Virgin Islands and Canada -- and had annual revenue of $4 billion as of 2014, per Forbes.

Florida-based Southern has a larger reach, operating in 35 markets -- AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, DE, DC, FL, KY, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MT, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV and WY -- and had $11.4 billion in revenue as of 2014.

Neither company opted to comment for this article by press time.

MIDDLE WEST SPIRITS MICRO-DISTILLERY HAS BIG EXPANSION PLANS

Middle West Spirits has invested $3.1 million into building a new 23,000 square-foot facility, upgrading their original workspace and adding 25 new positions, with employees to be added over the next three years. Construction on the new and original facility has already started.

The existing facility will be expanding vertically to accommodate a new five-story still, with plans to add a tasting room and kitchen as well. The new building will house bottling equipment, store raw materials, and have production and office space.

"The new facility affords us the capacity to improve and innovate products to a level we could have only dreamt of in the past," says co-founder and head distiller Ryan Lang.

WSD BRIEFS:

PERNOD RICARD'S GLENLIVET RELEASES FIRST PEATED EXPRESSION SINCE THE 1800s. The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish is bottled and released in small batches, with no chill-filtration and uses peat smoke to dry the malted barley, a technique used by Glenlivet distillers in the early 1800s. The whisky is bottled between 53% and 62% abv. The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish joins the Nadurra Range and will be available in CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, MA, MI, NY, TX and WA at a suggested retail price of $85 a 750 ml.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, WSD erroneously reported that Chanel did not have any alcohol holdings other than the recently purchased St. Supery, but St. Supery is only Chanel's first US alcohol purchase. The company's owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer own French estates Rauzan-Segla and Chateau Canon.

Until tomorrow,
Emily

"Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future?" - Marty McFly

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