Jägermeister embroiled in Missouri legal battle

14th February, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

Distributor Major Brands is taking legal action against Mast-Jägermeister for allegedly violating Missouri’s franchise law by moving its business to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

Mast-Jägermeister wants to consolidate its business with Southern Glazer’s

According to a statement from Major Brands, German liqueur producer Mast-Jägermeister announced its intention to terminate its 40-year relationship with the Missouri distributor yesterday (13 February).

Mast-Jägermeister plans to move its business from Major Brands to Southern Glazer’s on 1 April 2018.

However, Major Brands has argued that such a move is only legal after a ‘good cause’ of contract termination has been established. It claims that in a “verbal notification of its intent to terminate” Mast-Jägermeister admitted that the termination had “nothing to do with Major Brands’ performance”.

Sue McCollum, the CEO of Major Brands who took over the role from her late husband in 2012, said: “Missouri law protects distributors like Major Brands who built up Jägermeister’s brand in Missouri for more than 40 years while ensuring Missouri’s statutory protections on alcohol distribution are enforced.”

In 2014, Diageo paid a “substantial” sum as part of a settlement with Major Brands following allegations it had similarly breached a franchise agreement.

McCollum continued: “Unfortunately, some of the largest companies in this industry believe they can intimidate me. They keep picking fights without cause in order to undermine the three-tier system. I thought they would have learned from previous lawsuits that I won’t back down in protecting my husband’s legacy and the jobs of the more than 600 people who make up the family in Major Brands’ family business.”

The Spirits Business has approached Mast-Jägermeister to comment on the case.

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