Beam Suntory has purchased the remaining 50% shareholding of its South African distributor, ABV Brands, effective immediately.
In 2015, Beam Suntory bought 50% of the distributor from Cyprus-based FIX Wines & Spirits and it has now taken control of the remaining stake from ABV founders Ross Calow, Daniel Hawkins and Igor Boyadjian.
Mark Pockele, formerly Beam Suntory’s commercial director for Middle East and Africa, will assume the role of managing director following the departure of ABV Brands co-founder and current MD Ross Calow.
Daniel Hawkins will remain as ABV Brands commercial director along with the existing management team. There are currently no planned changes to ABV Brands’ portfolio of products
ABV Brands was founded in 2010 and has been Beam Suntory’s distribution partner in South Africa from the beginning. Since becoming a Beam Suntory joint venture in 2015, ABV Brands has grown the Beam Suntory portfolio by more than 50%, driven largely by Courvoisier cognac, which has seen triple-digit growth and is now the number two cognac brand in South Africa, as well as Jim Beam bourbon, which has posted consistent double-digit growth.
Beam Suntory said that since it began the joint venture in 2015, ABV Brands has grown the Beam Suntory portfolio by more than 50%, driven largely by Courvoisier cognac.
Beam Suntory managing director for alliance and emerging markets Yuri Grebenkin said: “Throughout our eight-year partnership, ABV Brands has demonstrated that it has the market knowledge, the commercial drive, and the passion for our brands to deliver consistent, aggressive growth in South Africa.
“South Africa is a high-potential emerging market for Beam Suntory, and brands like Jim Beam and Courvoisier are already establishing category-leading positions. We are delighted to welcome the ABV Brands team to Beam Suntory, and we are looking forward to building on their already impressive achievements as one team.
“I’d like to offer our sincere thanks to Ross and Dan for their partnership throughout the years. They built an outstanding business and we are delighted that Dan will continue to drive our commercial strategy in South Africa.”
ABV Brands commercial director Dan Hawkins added: “ABV Brands is extremely proud of the leadership position we have built in this dynamic market over the past eight years, and we are thrilled to be taking this next step with Beam Suntory and its world-class portfolio of premium brands.
“We are confident that combining our local expertise with Beam Suntory’s global scale and capabilities will be a winning combination, empowering us to take the business to the next level in South Africa.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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