Suntory buys into Mozart

27 August, 2008
Page 5 
Suntory, the Japanese drinks giant, is to purchase a 50 per cent stake in the Austrian chocolate liqueur producer Mozart Distillerie.

Suntory said the new partnership would strengthen its position in the global alcoholic beverages market, while building further business for the Mozart brand - which is presently sold in some 70 countries around the world.

Suntory has imported and marketed Mozart chocolate liqueurs in Japan since 1990.

Suntory partners more than 40 companies and distributes more than 70 brands of imported western spirits.

The primary reason for the agreed investment is so that Suntory can use its power and distribution network to get the premium chocolate liqueurs company into emerging markets such as China, India and the so-called "tiger economies" as well as Japan and Australia.

Harald Koenig, Mozart managing director and principal shareholder, said the partnership will "revitalise" the marketing and sales efforts behind the brand.

The Osaka-based company's portfolio includes international brands such as Bowmore Scotch whisky, Midori melon liqueur, Château Lagrange and Robert Weil wines, as well as its Japanese whiskies Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts, and Hibiki, a blended malt.