Pernod Ricard USA Celebrates the Pernod Ricard and Tequila Avion™ Global Partnership Ultra-Premium Tequila Joins Pernod Ricard USA's Prestigious Portfolio

PURCHASE, N.Y., July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pernod Ricard USA celebrates the announcement released today by Pernod Ricard regarding the agreement granting the company exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the ultra-premium Tequila Avion™, as well as a minority interest in the growing brand.  

Paul Duffy, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard USA, said the agreement "is strategically important, and an excellent complement to Pernod Ricard USA's leading portfolio of premium brands.  We see great opportunity in the ultra-premium segment of the tequila category, and great potential for Avion™ to lead the way." He added: "Roughly one year after its introduction, the brand already has created unprecedented and impressive levels of awareness and velocity in the USA, the world's leading tequila market.  That's because Avion™ has established itself as a true lifestyle brand, with rising popularity among tastemakers and connoisseurs.  We are anxious to leverage the entrepreneurial spirit, passionate devotion to excellence and creativity behind Avion™, and look forward to working with Tequila Avion™ Founder and Chairman Ken Austin, Jenna Fagnan, President, and their team to build Avion into the next iconic spirits brand."

Ken Austin commented, "Pernod Ricard was the ideal choice for three reasons: its global reach, its global premium portfolio and its exemplary management team and professional organization. Pernod Ricard USA brings a powerful route to market, and a strong track record of building premium spirit brands.  Together, we will capture a meaningful share of the ultra-premium tequila category.  This partnership is a validation and a testament to our highly entrepreneurial and disruptive marketing strategy, along with the brand being embraced and praised on multiple levels by bartenders, the mixology community, retailers and consumers."

Currently sold in 23 US states and Ontario, Canada, Tequila Avion™ has enjoyed exponential growth over its first year, and sales continue to accelerate.  In the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Tequila Avion Silver was awarded Double Gold, Avion Anejo a Gold medal and Avion Reposado a Bronze medal. 

About Tequila Avion™

Tequila Avion™ is a company created in 2009 by Ken Austin and Kenny Dichter.   Tequila Avion™ is the ultra-premium tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste - "Taste Elevated." Produced with fifth generation agave growers from the finest Blue Weber agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco, Mexico, Tequila Avion's distinct flavors are achieved through a combination of slow-roasting at lower temperatures to protect the natural flavors of the agave and an ultra-slow filtration process which creates an unusually smooth taste profile. Tequila Avion™ is available in Silver, Reposado and Anejo varietals.  Recently, Tequila Avion™ was awarded three medals including Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  To learn more please visit www.TequilaAvion.com, our Facebook page: Tequila Avion and our Twitter account @TequilaAvion.

About Pernod Ricard USA

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA.  In July, 2008, Pernod Ricard completed the acquisition of the iconic ABSOLUT® Vodka brand from the V&S Group, and Pernod Ricard USA is now the second-leading company in the U.S. by sales value.

In addition to ABSOLUT®, Pernod Ricard USA's leading brands include such prestigious spirits as The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Seagram's Extra Dry Gin®, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Martell® Cognac, Malibu®, Kahlua® Liqueur, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod® and Ricard®; such superior wines as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier Jouet® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.  

The company is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world's co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of euro 7,081 million in 2009/10. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: ABSOLUT Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine's, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlua and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes, as well Jacob's Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 "Brand Companies" and 70 "Distribution Companies" established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard's strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurship spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index. For further information, please visit our website: www.pernod-ricard.com

SOURCE Pernod Ricard USA



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