Beam sells German brands to Henkell

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands has announced plans to divest three of its German-market local brands. Kuemmerling bitters, Fûrst Bismarck korn/schnapps and Jacobi 1880 brandy are to be sold to Henkell & Co, the second largest distributor of wine and spirits in Germany.

As part of the transaction, Henkell & Co will acquire the operations, including the production plant in Bodenheim, Germany, where these local brands are produced.

“Selling these brands will enable Beam Global to devote all of our resources in Germany toward the growth of our global premium brands, led by Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Sauza Tequila,” said Beam Global managing director Torsten Helbig.

“It is our utmost priority to ensure a smooth, seamless transition for our employees and our operations to Henkell.”

“Kuemmerling, Fûrst Bismarck and Jacobi 1880 are a great strategic fit for us,” said Henkell’s speaker of the board, Hans-Henning Wiegmann.

“They are excellent brands, and Henkell is prepared to invest in their growth as Beam Global focuses on growth of its global premium brands in Germany.”

The transaction is expected to officially close in approximately four to six weeks, and the transition to new ownership completed by September 1, 2010.