Sidney Frank Importing Company Files Lawsuit Against Beam, Inc. And Cooley Distillery For Breach Of Contract, Unfair Competition And Tortious Interference

Mar 04, 2013, 11:08 ET from Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. announced that on March 1, 2013, it filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against Beam, Inc. and Cooley Distillery, PLC, a subsidiary of Beam, Inc. The lawsuit arises out of Beam and Cooley Distillery's breach of Sidney Frank Importing Company's long-term contract with Cooley Distillery for the supply of Michael Collins Irish Whiskey as well as acts of unfair competition and tortious interference. 


In 2006, independent and family-owned Sidney Frank Importing Company entered into a long-term supply contract with Cooley Distillery, which was then the last independent, Irish-owned distillery in Ireland, to launch award-winning Michael Collins Irish Whiskey. Sidney Frank Importing Company and Cooley Distillery enjoyed six years of a mutually beneficial relationship, during which time Sidney Frank Importing Company invested heavily to position the Michael Collins brand for long-term success in the rapidly growing Irish whiskey market. In January of 2012, Beam acquired Cooley Distillery and has since refused to honor its existing contract and engaged in wrongful behavior in efforts to eliminate Michael Collins Irish Whiskey as a competitor in the market.

"We at Sidney Frank Importing Company are saddened that we had to take this drastic step against an industry member," says Lee Einsidler, Chief Executive Officer at Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. Einsidler continues, "More than seven years of sweat equity and many millions of dollars have been invested to build the Michael Collins brand into a current and future success.  We are dismayed that Beam and Cooley Distillery chose not to honor the long-term contract Sidney Frank Importing Company had in place and rather chose to engage in a scheme of unfair competition and tortious interference to eliminate Michael Collins Irish Whiskey in the marketplace." 

As a result of Beam and Cooley's wrongful conduct, Sidney Frank Importing Company contends that it has sustained and will continue to sustain substantial economic damages. Sidney Frank Importing Company is asking for compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial by a jury but believed to exceed $100 million and for punitive damages.

About Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. Founded in 1972, Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. of New Rochelle, NY, currently owns or imports: Jagermeister Herbal Liqueur - the number one selling imported Liqueur and shot brand in the United States; Gekkeikan Sake - the world's finest sake with nearly 400 years and 14 generations of sake brewing experience, American Harvest - a proprietary blend of organic vodka and organic ingredients resulting in a distinctly smooth and silky spirit with a crisp, clean taste; Michael Collins Irish Whiskey - the award-winning double distilled single malt and blended whiskeys named for the Irish legendary hero; Barenjager Honey Liqueur - the German imported original honey liqueur made with generous amounts of premium natural honey; Barenjager Honey & Bourbon - a delicious blend of premium honey liqueur and Kentucky bourbon whiskey; VnC Cocktails - the naturally spirited premium, all natural, low calorie ready-to-serve line of cocktails from New Zealand; JC Cognac - the VSOP known for its unmatched quality and unique flavor extensions of Apple and Jasmine; Jacques Cardin Brandy - the French brandy of uncommon distinction defined by its rich color and superior flavor; Hudson's Bay Scotch - a smooth blend of 100% Scotch Whiskies distilled and blended in Scotland and St. Vivant Armagnac - the premium French brandy steeped in tradition dating back to 1559. DRINK RESPONSIBLY

Contact: Kate Laufer, 914-637-5700,  

SOURCE Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc.