Southern Comfort brand sold
Southern Comfort’s parent company said Thursday it is selling the iconic brand to a rival liquor company as part of a $543.5 million deal.
Brown-Forman Corp. said its Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands will be sold to Louisiana-based Sazerac. Tuaca is a relatively small premium
Sazerac President/CEO Mark Brown said the family-owned, privately held company was excited to acquire the two brands and looks forward to “years of successful brand building.”
The sale is expected to close by March 1, Brown-Forman said. It will result in a one-time operating income gain of about $475 million for the company in fiscal 2016, it said.
Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga said the sale reflected the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s evolving portfolio strategy and its focus on top-priority brands. Brown-Forman’s dominant brand is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
As for Southern Comfort and Tuaca, he said: “Both brands played important roles in the Brown-Forman success story, and we will have fond memories of the enjoyment they brought to consumers, our partners and to Brown-Forman.”
Brown-Forman acquired Southern Comfort in 1979, but the brand has struggled in recent years. The company launched marketing campaigns in recent years to try to reinvigorate the brand.
Brown-Forman said last month that net sales for the Southern Comfort brand had dropped by 7 percent in the first half of the company’s fiscal year. The company pointed to weak sales at bars and restaurants and competition from new flavored whiskies.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.