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Russian Standard agrees Whyte & Mackay deal

Russian Standard Vodka has agreed a new UK distribution partnership with Whyte & Mackay effective from 1 January 2012.

The news follows the announcement that the brand is to terminate its existing distribution arrangement with First Drinks Brands at the end of the year.

Jonathan Stordy, CEO at Russian Standard International, said: “We have been very encouraged by the significant interest shown by prospective distributors following our decision to change distributors and it has been a thorough and rigorous selection process.

“The distribution arrangement we have agreed with Whyte & Mackay offers us an exciting chance to manage our brand more closely in the UK market.

“We would like to thank First Drinks Brands for a very successful four years distributing our brand.

“It was a difficult decision to change distributors but the opportunity to take greater control of our route to market in the UK, in partnership with Whyte & Mackay is extremely attractive.”

Speaking about the new partnership, John Beard, CEO of Whyte and Mackay, added: “Russian Standard has bucked the UK trend, consistently investing behind the consumer, and with 2012 brand investment above £10 million we are confident we can build on the strong platform already created. This marks an exciting new chapter for both companies”.

Over the last four years, First Drinks Brands has worked with Russian Standard Vodka to build the brand to its current position as the best-selling imported Premium Russian vodka brand in the UK.

First Drinks Brands will continue to manage the distribution until the end of the year.

The company also confirmed it is seeking a new vodka to add to its portfolio.

A First Drinks statement said: “First Drinks Brands is able to take a longer term perspective and changes to the portfolio are part of the fast moving and dynamic environment of the UK drinks industry.”

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