Bacardi, the world’s largest privately held spirits company has announced a behemoth shift in its distribution network. Bacardi is moving to a regional distributor network in North America across Open and Control markets, supported by select distributors in Franchise and other limited markets. Bacardi has named Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and Glazer’s, Inc., which have signed a definitive agreement to form Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits LLC, to lead the distribution of its wine and spirits portfolio in more than 40 markets across the United States and Canada.
According to the release, Southern brings 34 states plus the District of Columbia while Glazer’s brings 15 states plus the US Virgin Islands and Canada. Eight of the states are covered by both company’s while nine states including Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are not covered by either company. The new company, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC (“Southern Glazer’s”), will distribute more than 150 million cases of wine and spirits annually, cover nearly 90% of the legal drinking age (LDA) population in the U.S., employ more than 20,000 people.
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The 154 year old Bacardi portfolio includes some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose Vodka, Dewar’s blended Scotch whisky, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cazadores 100% Blue Agave Tequila, Martini Vermouth and sparkling wines, and other leading and emerging brands.
“This decision will enable us to expand our footprint with a single regional partner for the Open, Control and Canadian markets, generate incremental revenue and ultimately place Bacardi in a position to succeed for years to come,” says Pete Carr, regional president for Bacardi in North America. “This is all about creating the best total value for Bacardi and reigniting top-line growth for our critical North America business in the most effective manner.”
“The Bacardi company is grateful to all of our distributors for the many years our relationship has existed,” adds Michael Dolan, chief executive officer of Bacardi Limited. “As we continue on our journey, we recognize the need to be effective in all channels of the business as retailers and consumers have evolved. We selected Southern and Glazer’s because of their expertise, national footprint and expressed dedication to the service of our iconic brands.”
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 14,500 team members.
Glazer’s, one of the country’s largest privately held companies, currently operates in 15 states, Canada and the Caribbean, and is one of the nation’s largest distributors of wine, spirits and malt beverage products. The company has operations in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Canada, and the US Virgin Islands. The third-generation family business was founded in Dallas in 1933.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.