US: Beam buys vodka brand for $605m

Beam is to purchase Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum from White Rock Distilleries for $605 million.

Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam said Pinnacle would become one of its largest ‘power brands’, with 2012 volumes expected to exceed three million nine-litre cases.

A statement from Beam said: “With a sustained track record of very strong double-digit growth, Pinnacle has already become the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the United States.

“Pinnacle’s growth is broad-based across its product line, as its unflavored and flavored variants have each achieved the one-million case threshold.” The RRP of the vodka is $12.99-$13.99 per 750ml bottle.

Shattock said: “We’re continuing to invest smartly in great brands and attractive categories, and Pinnacle plays to our strengths.

“With our plans to substantially increase brand investment in Pinnacle, plus our marketing and innovation capabilities and our global distribution assets, we look forward to taking Pinnacle to the next level and establishing Beam as a leader in the sizeable vodka category. Since the start of 2011, we’ll have built our presence in ready-to-serve cocktails, Irish whiskey and now vodka.”

Beam expects to finance the acquisition with either existing credit facilities or new debt, or a combination of both. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012.