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Edrington buys WEBB out of Americas JV

The Macallan Scotch whisky maker Edrington has purchased World Equity Brand Builders’s (WEBB) stake in the pair’s Edrington WEBB Travel Retail Americas (EWTRA) joint venture for an undisclosed sum.

Igor Boyadjian, Edrington GTR MD: The buyout marks a ‘new era’ for the company

The WEBB buy-out sees Edrington establish one global travel retail unit following previous moves to take regional travel retail distribution in-house.

Founded in 2015, EWTRA distributed and marketed Edrington brands including The Macallan, Highland Park and Cutty Sark whiskies and Brugal rum in Americas travel retail, alongside Sazerac’s Southern Comfort, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Blanton’s and Buffalo Trace. The JV also managed Disaronno, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Licor 43 and Tia Maria.

The EWTRA joint venture will end on 1 June when the business will fully integrate into Edrington, which will take on existing spirits distribution contracts.

The wine side of the EWTRA portfolio, including Cupcake Vineyards, Excelsior, Ramon Bilbao, Luc Belaire and Mionetto, will be returned to WEBB under a new company following the buy-out.

Andy Consuega, WEBB founder who served as EWTRA CEO, will continue to distribute the Edrington spirits portfolio in Caribbean domestic markets through WEBB Banks, a business formed in January 2017 following the merger of WEBB and Banks Channel of North Carolina.

In 2014 Edrington announced it would close Maxxium Travel Retail, a European partnership with Beam, and in 2016 bought out its Edrington FIX Middle East JV partner to take distribution in-house.

‘Exceptionally successful’ JV

“The joint venture with WEBB, led by Andy Consuegra as chief executive officer, proved exceptionally successful, delivering high double digit growth,” said Juan Gentile, Edrington Americas senior vice president for Latin America and travel retail.

“Edrington is now ready to fully integrate this business within our global travel retail structure, with full ownership of operations in the Americas. We already directly manage Asia, Europe and the Middle East through wholly owned distribution companies. The EWTRA buy-out is consistent with our strategy to offer a unified global presence in a channel which has seen increased consolidation by key retailers.

“Moving forward, we will continue to focus our efforts in building the equity of our core brands, especially The Macallan. Distribution brand partners will continue to play a pivotal role in maintaining the strength and scale of our presence with duty free operators in the Americas.”

Consuegra commented: “I’m honoured that we had the opportunity to assume such an essential position in further driving the success of Edrington as well as our other brand partners, within travel retail in the Americas.

“We’ve established enduring, highly successful partnerships between our great team, the brand companies, travel retail operators and cruise lines in the Americas. Nearly doubling the business of the joint venture in such a short period of time, I believe, clearly shows the success of these efforts and relationships.”

Igor Boyadjian, managing director of Edrington Global Travel Retail, added: “The acquisition of Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas marks the opening of a new era for Edrington, establishing a fully owned and integrated Global Travel Retail business unit.

“It’s an exciting new journey and a great stepping stone which will allow us to be more coherent and consistent in our global strategy with key partners and retailers. More importantly, we’re delighted to welcome into our family a great team of people that will add great value and local expertise to our business, as well as an exciting portfolio of distribution brands.

“Last but not least, I would like to personally thank Andy for his achievements and for building great momentum behind our brands in the Americas over the last few years.”

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