Marie Brizard and Sazerac agree strategic partnershipBy Nicola Carruthers
Bordeaux-based Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) and Buffalo Trace owner Sazarac have formed a strategic partnership for the distribution of the French group’s brands in the US.
The deal, between Sazerac’s US distribution arm 375 Park Avenue Spirits and MBWS, will be effective from 1 January 2020. From this date, MBWS Americas will focus its efforts on other countries in the Americas region.
The agreement is in line with MBWS’s strategy to “review its activities” as it seeks to “generate long-term value for the group” and “return to profitable growth”. MBWS has suffered a difficult few years, with sales in decline.
As a result, the French firm “concluded that its level of sales was structurally insufficient to address successfully the US market, which has become increasingly challenging due to continued concentration at wholesale and retail levels”.
MBWS has been “actively looking for a partner with the size, network and culture to deliver the scale of distribution coverage required” for its brands.
According to MBWS, US company Sazerac and its subsidiary 375 Park Avenue Spirits were the “obvious choice” as the firms have already worked together on the distribution of Sazerac’s core brands in France and Brazil.
“We look forward to partnering with the Sazerac Company and 375 Park Avenue Spirits, making our brands even stronger in the USA,” said Andrew Highcock, CEO of MBWS.
“Aligning with such a strong player which shares a similar business philosophy and complementary portfolio of brands will dramatically increase our development in this market.”
Jason Schladenhauffen, president and CEO of 375 Park Avenue Spirits and vice president of strategic partnerships at the Sazerac Company, added: “We are thrilled to welcome the Marie Brizard portfolio to the 375 Park Avenue Spirits family and our growing range of revered brands.
“It’s not often you’re able to add a top-30 global brand within its category to your portfolio, so we’re honoured to have this opportunity to take Sobieski and the entire portfolio to new heights in the US market.”
“Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits offers a number of award-winning spirits that will also be part of the agreement, including Marie Brizard’s cordial line, Krupnik honey liqueur and Gautier cognac.
“These brands will add further muscle to our portfolio as we look to provide our customers with a portfolio solution for their beverage programmes.”