The COVID pandemic slowed and shuttered many aspects of global business especially spirits and hospitality. However, the distilling industry’s favorite game—musical chairs—continued unimpeded. On Monday (6.15), Brown-Forman announced a deal to sell Early Times, Canadian Mist, and Collingwood brands, as well as the Canadian Mist production assets, to Sazerac Company.
“Early Times and Canadian Mist have been valued brands in our portfolio for many years, and they each have played significant roles in our company’s history,” said Brown-Forman President and CEO Lawson Whiting in a statement. “We are thankful to all the people who have distilled, bottled, shipped, marketed, and distributed these brands with care over the years.”
The deal is logical for both companies. Brown-Forman spent the better part of the last decade shifting their portfolio’s focus to premium and super premium brands.
has a history of buying anything that comes their way already dominates the whiskey market with labels spanning the gamut from Fireball to Pappy Van Winkle. The new expressions will mesh well with their corporate philosophy.
“We are delighted to acquire such iconic brands as well as the Canadian Mist Distillery,” said Sazerac CEO and prolific newsletter author Mark Brown via release. “Brown-Forman has done an excellent job building these brands over the years and we expect to invest in the brands and grow their sales in the coming years.”
The final legalities are expected be complete by the summer. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP handled Brown-Forman’s end of the deal. Sazerac was represented by Cooley LLP.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.