Brown-Forman silent on Southern Comfort ‘rumours’

30th September, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

Brown-Forman is keeping tight-lipped over reports it is planning to offload its Southern Comfort and Chambord liqueur brands.

The brand launches Caramel Comfort, showcasing the flavour in modern packaging created for the entire range

Brown-Forman has declined to comment on “rumours” it is considering selling Southern Comfort and Chambord

The US drinks group, maker of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey brand, said it does not comment on divestiture “rumours” as a “matter of corporate policy”.

According to a report in Reuters, Brown-Forman has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group to consider the feasibility of selling brands including whiskey liqueur Southern Comfort and raspberry liqueur Chambord.

Citing unnamed sources, the report states that Brown-Forman has already been in contact with potential buyers. It is thought the company is aiming to focus more on its core whiskey business.

Chambord-campaign

Brown-Forman is also considering selling Chambord liqueur, according to Reuters

The group’s director of corporate communications and public relations, Phil Lynch, said: “As a matter of corporate policy, we don’t comment on or respond to rumors or reports regarding financial matters, including acquisitions and divestitures.”

While Brown-Forman reported a “superb” year in 2014/15, boosted by the strength of its Jack Daniel’s portfolio, Southern Comfort experienced a 5% decline in underlying net sales both inside and outside the US.

Brown-Forman unveiled a complete packaging makeover for Southern Comfort and pushed ahead with the brand’s Whatever’s Comfortable campaign this year in a bid to reignite sales.

However, Southern Comfort has struggled to compete with the soaring popularity of the flavoured whiskey sector – in which Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey has pioneered growth.

Brown-Forman has also been pushing its Chambord brand in the UK, bringing back an advertising campaign this summer that claims to “encourage female empowerment”.

In 2013, the brand witnessed 80% volume growth and 114% value growth in the UK.

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