Beam Suntory buys remaining stake in ABV Brands

23rd April, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Beam Suntory has completed its acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in South African spirits distributor ABV Brands.

ABV Brands has grown Beam Suntory’s Jim Beam and Courvoisier brands in the South African market

The world’s third largest spirits company has owned a 50% stake in ABV Brands since 2015. The company has distributed Beam Suntory’s spirits in South Africa since it launched in 2010.

ABV Brands has grown the company’s brands in the country by more than 50% – in particular Courvoisier Cognac, which has witnessed “triple-digit growth”, and Jim Beam Bourbon, which has “outperformed” the whisk(e)y category in South Africa with double-digit gains.

As part of the deal, Beam Suntory assumes full ownership of its route-to-market in South Africa, and the existing ABV Brands team will be integrated into Beam Suntory.

Beam Suntory’s commercial director for Middle East and Africa, Mark Pochele, has been appointed as managing director of ABV Brands following the departure of the firm’s co-founder and current managing director, Ross Calow.

Co-founder Dan Hawkins will remain as commercial director along with the existing management team. There are currently no planned changes to ABV Brands’ portfolio.

Yuri Grebenkin, Beam Suntory’s MD for alliance and emerging markets, said: “Throughout our eight-year partnership, ABV Brands has demonstrated that it has the market knowledge, the commercial drive, and the passion for our brands to deliver consistent, aggressive growth in South Africa.

“South Africa is a high-potential emerging market for Beam Suntory, and brands like Jim Beam and Courvoisier are already establishing category-leading positions.

“We are delighted to welcome the ABV Brands team to Beam Suntory, and we are looking forward to building on their already impressive achievements as one team.”

Hawkins added: “ABV Brands is extremely proud of the leadership position we have built in this dynamic market over the past eight years, and we are thrilled to be taking this next step with Beam Suntory and its world-class portfolio of premium brands.

“We are confident that combining our local expertise with Beam Suntory’s global scale and capabilities will be a winning combination, empowering us to take the business to the next level in South Africa.”

The acquisition of the remaining stake was completed on 18 April and is effective immediately.

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