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Edrington and WEBB form US duty-free company

Edrington, the international premium spirits company, and World Equity Brand Builders (WEBB), have formed a joint venture company: Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas.

The two companies announced in August 2014 that they were in exclusive discussions about a distribution partnership for the travel retail channel in the Americas, including Canada, and the Caribbean.

Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas will launch operations on January 16, replacing Edrington’s previous distribution agreement with Rémy Cointreau Travel Retail Americas, which ends on January 15th. WEBB has represented Edrington’s brands in the Caribbean for four years.

The new company will combine the Edrington portfolio of The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Brugal rum and Snow Leopard vodka with WEBB’s portfolio of Disaronno, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Armand de Brignac, Licor 43, The Glenrothes and Tia Maria, as well as wines including Cupcake Vineyards, Ramon Bilbao, Luc Belaire and Mionetto.

The travel retail channel in the Americas and the Caribbean represents nearly a quarter of total duty free spirit volumes worldwide, with more than five million cases of spirits per year. Including airport duty free stores, cruise lines and border stores, it has an estimated annual value of more than US$1bn.

The Edrington Webb joint venture follows the creation in October of Edrington’s new global travel retail business in Singapore. Led by Tellis Baroutsis, the unit will increase Edrington’s focus on this growth channel.

Juan Gentile, Edrington’s area director for the Americas says: “The creation of Edrington Webb will expand our reach and bring us closer to customers and consumers in this valuable and dynamic market. Edrington and WEBB have worked together in the Caribbean since 2010 and I am delighted at this opportunity to extend such a successful relationship.”

Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas will be led by an experienced management team including WEBB MD Andy Consuegra, CFO Ken Pfeiffer and Marcelo Colombo, who takes up the role of commercial director.

Andy Consuegra CEO Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas adds: “We are honoured to partner with Edrington and build on a very successful relationship. Edrington Webb Travel Retail Americas will offer a leading portfolio of premium spirit and wine brands, enabling our experienced team to focus on in-store execution, brand building and training from Canada to the Caribbean.

“We look forward to building excellent relationships with our customers and delivering strong results and long-term growth for our premium brands.” 

Pictured: L-R Ken Pfeiffer and Andy Consuegra of Edrington Webb, Juan Gentile of Edrington Americas

12 January 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor