Diageo Renews Open State Agreements with Southern Wine & Spirits

Oct 18, 2011, 10:30 ET from Diageo

NORWALK, Conn. and MIAMI, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo, the world's leading premium spirits, wine, and beer company, announced today that it has renewed its agreements with Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. The new agreements continue Southern's role as Diageo's exclusive distributor for its spirits and wine brands in California, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Indiana and Alaska. The agreements also include continued distribution of wine in Oregon and Washington. In 2000, Diageo launched an innovative route-to-market strategy that was the first of its kind in the industry, with Southern Wine and Spirits becoming one of a select group of exclusive distributors for Diageo in 2002.  Ten years later, Diageo has embarked on the next phase of this transformational route-to-market strategy, working closely with strategic distributors to establish a focused approach built on national programming and increased resources for growth areas.  

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Southern Wine & Spirits and take the next natural step in our route to market strategy," said Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo USA. "Southern Wine & Spirits has consistently proven to be a standout leader in the industry, and our new agreements in eight states will accelerate the growth of our mutual businesses."

Diageo's agreements with Southern Wine & Spirits provide for a number of key changes, including enhancements to the fully-dedicated sales coverage for spirits and wine brands.   They also provide for a more efficient structure with new national leadership across all of Southern's in-state  selling divisions that are dedicated to Diageo brands.  Southern Wine & Spirits recently announced the appointment of Gerry Rivero to Executive Vice President-General Manager of the corporate Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits group, leading the Diageo and Moët Hennessy portfolios nationally for Southern.  Additionally, the selling divisions will have enhanced resources and capabilities focused on on-premise, multicultural and innovation--which have been designated as key priorities for future growth.

"The agreements with Diageo are built upon the strong results we have achieved together over the years.  We are proud to continue to represent Diageo's portfolio of spirits and wines across eight states," said Southern Wine & Spirits President & Chief Operating Officer, Wayne Chaplin. "We expect that the new structure and focus will mutually help us to achieve even greater levels of success, as we are committed to accelerating growth. We look forward to this exciting new chapter in our relationship with Diageo and to continue working together toward future growth opportunities."

The new agreements are the latest between Diageo and Southern, which announced earlier this year the appointment of Southern Wine & Spirits as the new National Broker for Diageo wine and spirits in control states. Through these agreements, Southern provides fully-dedicated coverage for Diageo spirits brands across all 18 Control States and will also represent Diageo's Chateau & Estate Wines portfolio in the five Control States for wine.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 11,000 team members. For more information, see: http://www.southernwine.com.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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