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Bacardi and Brown-Forman to end UK distribution partnership

Spirits giants Bacardi and Brown-Forman have agreed to end their distribution alliance in the UK after 17 years.

The UK distribution deal between Bacardi and Brown-Forman began in 2002

Both firms have made the decision to end the agreement, which will expire at the end of April 2020. Bacardi and Brown-Forman are “working closely to ensure a seamless transition”.

As part of the long-running partnership, the firms used Bacardi’s sales team and logistic operation under the Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (BBFB) banner. However, each company was responsible for the marketing of its own brands.

Brown-Forman and Bacardi have both “grown their respective positions” in the UK since the deal began and “agree that the time is now right” for each firm to manage their businesses and brands in the market.

Bermuda-based Bacardi, which owns brands such as Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, and Patrón Tequila, will “focus on delivering the full potential” of its portfolio in the UK.

US spirits group Brown-Forman plans to create its own distribution company in the UK to “further the growth” of its Jack Daniel’s family of brands and “drive development” of its super-premium portfolio of brands including Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Herradura and El Jimador Tequilas, Finlandia vodka and Slane Irish whiskey.

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