The Edrington Group which makes The Famous Grouse and The Macallan, is to buy the blended scotch whisky brand Cutty Sark from Berry Bros & Rudd (BB&R) while Berrys is to acquire The Glenrothes single malt brand.
Edrington has been supplying blended whisky for the Cutty Sark brand for more than 70 years and is responsible for all aspects of production of Cutty Sark. Edrington is to acquire all Cutty Sark distribution contracts in force at the time of completion, by April.
The Edrington sales-and-distribution alliance (Maxxium) will continue to distribute The Glenrothes in key international markets and is also expected to provide a distribution option for other brands within BB&R’s super-premium spirits portfolio.
Cutty Sark is a top three whisky brand in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, where it is popular in the fast-moving on-trade. It has a strong presence in America and is increasing its footprint in Asia and developing markets.
In Spain, Cutty Sark’s largest market, the distribution agreement with Importaciones Varma will come to an end prior to the completion of the sale of Cutty Sark. The brand will then be handled by Maxxium España, a 50/50 joint venture between Edrington and Beam Global Spirits & Wine. In Greece, the distribution of Cutty Sark will remain with WS Karoulias, which will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of BB&R.
BB&R said the acquisition of The Glenrothes reflected its ambition to grow its super-premium business as the brand was one of the world’s fastest growing single malts. The relationship between BB&R and Edrington will continue under the new arrangement.