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kitzg
10-05-2000, 18:23
The following appeared in international (mostly British) press today:

(c) National Post 2000. All Rights Reserved.
LONDON - U.S. consumer products group Fortune Brands Inc. said yesterday it would be interested in any drink brands that may "pop up" from the US$7-billion auction of Seagram's spirits business.
"We are looking at any nice brands that might flow out of Seagram," said Norman Wesley, group chairman and chief executive, at a London conference. While the two front-runners in the auction remain Allied Domecq and a joint bid from Diageo and Pernod Ricard, Mr. Wesley said he would be interested in any spirits brands that might be surplus to the new owner.

In addition, on 10/02 a story claimed that
"Pernod Ricard: (NewsWeb) Company announced agreement to acquire 100% of Boulevard Distillers producer of famous bourbon Wild Turkey."

Greg

kitzg
10-13-2000, 10:55
The following is from the Financial Times in London:
Seagram sets out spirits stall to bidders
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York and John Thornhill in London
Published: October 12 2000 19:48GMT | Last Updated: October 12 2000 19:58GMT

The management of Seagram's spirits division began presentations on Thursday to three bidding groups, which have each offered about $7bn for the unit.

Bacardi and Brown-Forman have joined forces to challenge Allied Domecq - which analysts see as the strongest contender - and a bidding team formed by Diageo of the UK and Pernod Ricard of France.

Vin & Sprit, the Swedish group that owns Absolut vodka, is believed to have decided to wait until a later stage of the auction before deciding which of the bidders to partner.

The management team making the presentations had earlier attempted to make its own bid for the business. It is understood that the spirits division's executives informed Seagram that they could raise finance for an offer as high as $8.2bn. However, the management team would not have been able to enjoy any of the distribution synergies available to the other big corporate bidders.

"The big drinks groups that already have big portfolios are the best placed to manage bigger portfolios," said one banker close to the auction.

The executives will make three presentations, each lasting two days. Diageo and Pernod started to hear their presentation on Thursday and will be followed by Bacardi and Brown-Forman. The presentations will end with Allied Domecq, which has yet to sign a confidentiality agreement required by Seagram - suggesting it may still be interested in finding an additional partner.

Graham Eadie, drinks analyst at Deutsche Bank, said he thought the auction would boil down to a straight fight between the two UK drinks companies.

"Our view is that Allied will get it because there are greater synergies available to them, and that they will retain the Absolut agency as well," he said.

Some analysts have calculated that Allied might even be able to afford to buy Seagram's business without issuing new equity, provided it sold off its Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins retail businesses.

The terms of the confidentiality agreement mean the three bidders have seen relatively little detail about the spirits business to date. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Seagram's advisers, issued a relatively thin information memorandum, according to people who received it.

Questions remain over which of the smaller regional brands would be retained by the successful bidder.

Talk that Diageo and Pernod Ricard might bring in a third party at this stage to buy the smaller brands has been dismissed by people involved in the auction, however. If, as seems likely, the successful bidder decides to make disposals following the completion of its bid, it will not be short of interested buyers.

Fortune Brands, which makes Jim Beam bourbon, this week joined the list of smaller spirits companies that have expressed an interest in picking up some Seagram brands should they become available later.

Seagram has some 250 brands in total, including Captain Morgan rum, Martell cognac, and Chivas Regal whisky.

**DONOTDELETE**
10-13-2000, 11:34
So ya think it could be picked up for a measly $8,200,000,000.50?
Don't tell Linn. He'll never get his credit card caught up by next Bourbon Fest!

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
10-13-2000, 15:28
John,
Let's be real here. Other than Four Roses the brands are going to be Canadian and American blends so do you really think that Linn would spend money for THOSE products?
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
10-14-2000, 10:12
Hell all I want to do is get that minature Michter's copper pot still going.
The StraightBourbon.com Distillery. Hmmm. One barrel a day. Every batch would also be a single barrel pour. What say gents?

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

boone
10-14-2000, 11:50
Hi Linn,

My Uncle Everett,(C.E. Beam) developed the Michter'e Pot Still Whiskey for Pennco Distillers.

I have pictures of him and letters (hand written) on how to start a distillery, make bourbon, rye and corn whiskey. He actually drew a picture of the still on these papers. Some day (when I get time) I am going to post a lot of the family records that I have.

boone

rwilps
10-14-2000, 13:20
There you go, Linn - with Boone's help, you da man! Put me in for a charter membership on the board, or at least a barrel share. Just so you run some rye through and take off your hat (not your pants) in salute to our forefathers as the white dog starts to come through.

Ralph Wilps

**DONOTDELETE**
10-14-2000, 14:57
Cranking up a legal still is a very expensive propisition. If we did it as some kind of co-op that might work. Of course the still's owner David Beam would have to be cooperative also.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

**DONOTDELETE**
10-14-2000, 15:09
That is purely fasinating news Betty Jo! I take it your Uncle Everett is still alive and well. I know that there are a whole slew of questions out there about Michter's and it's demise. Please ask your Uncle how much it would cost to put that still back into operation. This could also be lab equipment for the American Whiskey Acadamey's course in distillation methodology and practicum. What say you Dr. Veach?

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

boone
10-14-2000, 16:37
Linn,

I would love to ask a lot of questions myself but all of them are gone now. I call him Uncle Everett but actually he is my great uncle. My great- grandfather was Joseph L. Beam he had 7 sons all were master distillers, Roy, Desmond, Wilmer, Otis, Harry, Elmo,and Everett. Harry was my grandfather we called him "POP". We are "almost" the forgotten Beams. I hope to keep their life history alive by telling people (like you) about them. Ya see they did make history and it is up to us to keep their memory alive.

Gone and sadly missed,
grand-daughter of Harry
boone

**DONOTDELETE**
10-14-2000, 19:01
Any chance that I might have a look at these letters? I would be very interested in seeing them.
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
10-15-2000, 05:42
Betty Jo,
You do your family proud. David Beam is now the owner of the miniature Michter's still. His son Troy showed it to us,and told us of the difficulties they had removing it from the old stillhouse. Quite a job. What relation are you to David and Troy?

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

boone
10-15-2000, 10:38
Linn,

David Beam is my fourth cousin. I called my Aunt Jo (she works at the Getz Museum) to get the right number down. I have the family tree but It's a lot easier to just call her and ask. Mike Veech answered the phone he must have a great love to do all the volenteer work that he does. I am almost positive that all of his work is volenteer. Good Job Mike!!!!!!!!!

Beams repeating history;

David and his sons moved the pot still to Bardstown as they can tell you it was a very difficult task. My great grandfather Joe Beam moved a entire distillery!

Quote from my Uncle Everett;

But along come Prohibition and that almost ended the tradition as far as I was concerned. Beam recalls. There wasn't much need for distillers in this country at that time.

When Prohibition came along my father fared better than most. Somehow he had become acquainted with a woman who was quite a entrepreneur down in Mexico. My father disassembled an entire distillery took it down to Jaures and put it back together piece by piece and went to work producing whiskey for this woman. Thus he kept his hand in the trade while other distillers were out of work during Prohibition.

boone

kitzg
10-15-2000, 12:20
boone, I'd like to learn more about the distillery in Mexico. Were they producing whiskey, or do you know? thanks, Greg

**DONOTDELETE**
10-15-2000, 12:54
Greg,
They were making bourbon of a sorts. It was Waterfield and Frasier. I forget the woman's name and I will have to check some notes to find it, but she moved down there to make the whiskey but used W. L. Weller and Sons to sell their remaining stock in Kentucky. By all reports I have ever read (Including Pappy Van Winkle's) the bourbon from Mexico was horrible and most blame the water quality for the bad product.
Mike Veach

kitzg
10-15-2000, 13:03
thanks

kitzg
10-31-2000, 05:46
Will Diageo, the world's largest spirits firm, walk away from a bid on Seagram's brands because of a possible legal issue? A dispute over rights to the Captain Morgan's brand name, one of the largest brands Seagrams owns, could cause Diageo to flinch. That may be just what Allied Domecq wants. This would likely only affect bourbon brands (Four Roses, primarily) if one of these giants gets the brands as a package and then sells them off to some firm like Brown-Forman, which is quite possible.

Here's the latest from the Financial Times of London, "Seagram, the Canadian group, insisted on Monday that the ownership row over its valuable Captain Morgan rum brand would not derail the auction of its entire spirits business.

The company said that Destileria Sellarres, the Puerto Rican supplier of Captain Morgan rum which has signed a strategic alliance with Allied Domecq, did not have first refusal over the brand in the event of Seagram's sale.

David Ichel, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, the New York law firm which acts for Seagram, said it was a matter of "black letter" law, meaning that every single court that has looked at the issue has ruled the same way.

'Serralles's right of first refusal is a limited right. But it does not apply if you have a sale of the entire Joseph E. Seagram stock. The courts in the US have been presented with the same issue many times and the courts have always ruled the same way,' he said.

'The company is still going to exist and the asset that is subject to the right of first refusal is still going to be owned by the company. Only the ownership of the company will change.'

Seagram said that the contract had been made available to all the bidders. However, bankers for the bidding groups have only just begun the due diligence process and are unlikely to have examined the details of all of Seagram's supply contracts.

Allied Domecq said it stuck by its opinion that Destileria Serralles had the right of first refusal over the Captain Morgan brand in the event of a change of ownership at Seagram. But it said the Puerto Rican company would have to match any other offer for Captain Morgan, which is estimated to be worth about $1.5bn.

Diageo...refused to comment on speculation it might walk away from the auction.

But analysts said that Allied Domecq's highly aggressive move might be intended to knock Diageo out of the game. The last thing Diageo would want, they said, was to be embroiled in a protracted legal dispute over Captain Morgan assuming its consortium won the auction for the entire Seagram business.

Simon Hales, drinks analyst at HSBC, the international investment bank, said it was impossible for an outsider to assess the validity of Seagram's and Destileria Serralles's respective claims. But the row would confuse the auction process."

Greg

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 12:30
DECEMBER 19, 14:08 EST

Diageo, Pernod To Buy Seagram Brand

By BRUCE STANLEY
AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) Britain's Diageo PLC and Pernod Ricard SA of France clinched an $8.15 billion deal Tuesday for Seagram Co.'s alcoholic drinks business that includes brands like Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey and Absolut vodka, beating a rival bid.

Diageo, the world's No. 1 spirits company, announced the long-awaited purchase from Seagram's new owner, France's Vivendi Universal SA.

In a struggle of liquor industry titans, the Anglo-French consortium triumphed over a competing offer by Brown-Forman Corp. of Louisville, Ky., and Bacardi Ltd. of Bermuda. The value of its bid was not disclosed, but it had reportedly been less than $8 billion.

A third potential bidder, Allied Domecq PLC, dropped out of the auction last week.

Seagram's drinks business, which its founding Bronfman family built up over three generations, ranked as the world's third-largest liquor company, behind No. 2 Allied Domecq.

Under the deal, Diageo will acquire 61 percent of Seagram's assets, with the remaining 39 percent going to Pernod Ricard, Diageo spokeswoman Isabelle Thomas said.

The Seagram unit is being sold following a $30 billion merger of Seagram, Vivendi and pay television giant Canal Plus. The merger created Vivendi Universal, the world's second largest communication group behind the proposed pairing of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc.

Vivendi Universal put the Seagram drinks division up for sale last summer to focus on its core business of entertainment and the Internet.

The deal marks the end of an era for Seagram. Under the guidance of Edgar Bronfman Jr., grandson of the company's founder, Seagram has transformed into a music and entertainment business. It bought Universal Studio's parent MCA from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan in 1995, and the Polygram music company from Phillips Electronics in 1998.

Diageo announced in August that it was linking up with Pernod Ricard to bid for the Seagram's drinks unit. Diageo's brands include Johnny Walker, Guinness and Burger King, while Pernod Ricard counts Wild Turkey bourbon and Havana Club rum among its names.

Brown-Forman, maker of Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort, formed a rival alliance with rum company Bacardi to make an alternative offer. Brown-Forman had no immediate comment on the deal.

The contest narrowed to a two-way battle this past Wednesday after British spirits and wine group Allied Domecq decided not to join in the auction. Allied said bidding for the Seagram division would not be in the interest of its shareholders.

It also felt the purchase was unnecessary since it recently won exclusive rights to distribute Stolichnaya vodka in the United States, and has a deal it says will allow it to acquire the Captain Morgan Rum brand, owned by Seagram, from Puerto Rican distiller Destileria Seralles.

Industry analysts say Diageo and Pernod Ricard are likely to face regulatory hurdles in the United States and elsewhere before they can complete the acquisition.


=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 12:39
So, since Brown-Forman didn't get the big deal, and since Diageo has already made it pretty clear what they think of the bourbon industry, will Brown-Forman take Four Roses off Diageo's hands?

Would you if you were them?

That's why I said it was a goner.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 16:01
John,
In answer to your question about whether Brown-Forman would take Four Roses I would have to say yes. A little bird (I won't say who) told me that B-F would love to have Four Roses as a companion sight to Labrot and Graham. Imagine the value of having both of these beautiful distillery sights within a few minutes drive of each other. The only question I have is whether U.D. will let them go before they rape them of any value and destroy the brand in the market place. After all that is the only reason U.D. wants a bourbon (Yes I am still bitter!!!)
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 16:31
Mike,
No offense to Ova Haney, Al Young, or any of the other fine people who I hope will be able to maintain their careers and their contribution to the bourbon world, but Brown-Forman needs Four Roses like it needs a hole in a fermenter tank! I really would like to see that beautiful and unusual distillery be used for something other than an apartment house for snakes and spiders, but if Brown-Forman does buy it I'd rather they use some of the really radical ideas they brought to Labrot & Graham to produce bourbon there that was truly unique. The question is, are we asking too much of Brown-Forman? They haven't even begun to get the payoff yet for the investment they've put into L&G; are they ready to do the same for Old Prentice?

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 17:33
John,
Early Times is running at capacity now. Don't you think that B-F might want some room for growth? Besides B-F is known for doing many things that do not make a lot of money but are good for the community. I hope they do end up with Four Roses.
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
12-19-2000, 17:54
Don't get me wrong. I do too. I just doubt they'll use the distillery to continue making Four Roses bourbon.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

bourbonmed
12-19-2000, 21:34
Yes sir. And maybe, if we are lucky, B-F would start selling the Four Roses Single Barrel in THIS country. Imagine that!

Omar

Ken Weber
12-20-2000, 10:35
I have been closely following not only this thread, but also some of the rumblings in the biz. I would venture to say that B-F probably is not looking to buy the Four Roses Distillery. The label, maybe, but not the distillery. L&G was bought primarily so the brown goods (notice I didn't say bourbon) would have a homeplace, ala Jack Daniel's. No product produced at L&G has yet to hit the market, yet the distillery figures prominently in Woodford Reserve, as well as B-F advertising in general. I simply don't see how buying another showplace will prove beneficial.

Ken

cowdery
12-20-2000, 10:42
John implied what no one else has mentioned. The brand and the plant do not necessarily go hand in hand. One could be sold and the other retained, or both could be sold, but to different buyers.

But Diageo might well want to keep Four Roses, because it is a successful international brand and strong in markets (like Europe) where Harper is not. It is less likely that they will want to keep the distillery, but possible. Because that plant is much smaller than Bernheim, and in a rural rather than urban location, it would be less costly to keep and operate than Bernheim. Also, Heaven Hill needed a distillery. No one really needs one now. Diageo needs to get its bourbon from somewhere. The Seagrams aging facility near Bardstown is also a lower cost operation than were the warehouses at Bernheim.

I'm not predicting, but I can see a logic to Diageo keeping both the brand and the plant.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

Ken Weber
12-20-2000, 10:47
Just wanted to let you folks know that Malt Advocate has just awarded its distillery of the year honor. No U.S. distillery has ever won the award, until now. The Buffalo Trace Distillery, in Franklin County, KY has been awarded this prestigious title. The publication noted that the distillery has launched several world class products during the last year, as well as spending millions of dollars upgrading the production facilities and production processes. Just thought I would let you know before the rest of the world hears it.

Ken

cowdery
12-20-2000, 10:52
Congratulations. I have the sense that BT is now run by people who actually understand and care about bourbon and its heritage, so good things are bound to follow.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

kitzg
12-20-2000, 11:35
Congratulations!

PS, I agree that B-F does not need real estate.

Greg

**DONOTDELETE**
12-20-2000, 17:00
Ken,
Congrats on the award. It is well deserved and I am sure that George Stagg would be proud.
Mike Veach

MashBill
12-20-2000, 17:54
Congratulations Ken! I'll bet Brown-Forman (via L&G) will be gunning for that honor next year. What's the chances of Buffalo Trace winning two years in a row? Any more world class products we can look forward to next year? Sometimes the best defense is a strong offense.....

Bill

bourbonmed
12-20-2000, 21:37
Chuck,
Regarding your observation that no one really needs a distillery right now, what about Maker's Mark? I thought I read somewhere MM was pretty much at full capacity and having trouble finding enough water. Couldn't MM use more space?

Omar

**DONOTDELETE**
12-21-2000, 05:54
Omar,
Some folks, and that would include Moi, believe that, within controllable limits, a master distiller can make his whiskey anywhere. Just ask Booker Noe (master distiller, Jim Beam Boston) and Baker Beam (master distiller, Jim Beam Clermont). Or at least anywhere within a region that would emcompass both Loretto and Lawrenceburg. And one could hardly ask for a more picturesque setting for Makers' second facility, especially given that they'd fix it up even more. I'd really be in favor of a move like that.

There are others, though, who would be utterly appalled at the suggestion that Maker's Mark would be the same product if made at both locations. And production of more Maker's Mark is the whole idea -- another brand won't do. They may have a point; I've heard the arguments and I'm sure we're about to do so again. Just because I don't agree with them doesn't mean I'm necessarily right, and I'm not the one betting the farm (literally) on it, as Bill Samuels and Allied Domecq would be. Also, I believe they've already committed to (and begun) the expansion of the present site. It's too bad they didn't get a chance to talk with you about it first, though; the more I think about your idea the better it sounds.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

cowdery
12-21-2000, 11:58
Maker's Mark buy Four Roses? It's an interesting thought. Allied Domecq, the parent company of Maker's Mark, was in the Seagram's sweepstakes but pulled out at the last minute. Presumably, they are banking on their Capt. Morgan agreement and possibly intend to leverage any negotiations surrounding that agreement with other prizes from the winner's basket. Four Roses may very well be on their wish list.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

Ken Weber
12-21-2000, 14:25
We have been experimenting with double cask bourbon, as well as aging in a second cask that once contained sherry. In response to a fellow bourbonian who asked if one of our bourbons was "oated", rather than "wheated", we will distill two new bourbons later this season using oats and rice. Give us about 8 to 10 years to get back to you on this one. We are going to take two of our bourbons that have won whiskey of the year distinctions and create single barrel versions of them.
We intend to stay busy. When you have the passion our people have for making bourbon, it is safe to say that we will continue to try and produce products that meet the tastes of our consumers. Several new products are introduced by marketers that simply clutter the shelves. We want to stay away from this mentality and only produce products that our consumers want, at the quality level they have come to expect.
Can we repeat? Over the last 10 years, this distinction has only been awarded 4 times. The other years, no one was deemed good enough to win. We sure intend to make Malt Advocate give us a good look next year.

Ken

cowdery
12-22-2000, 12:04
Bravo and hear hear!

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)