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Distell embarks on US spirits joint venture with Terlato Wine Group

Published:  27 November, 2015

South Africa's Distell Group has announced a joint venture with the Terlato Wine Group in the US.

Terlato Artisan Spirits, as the new company is called, will distribute both groups' spirits portfolios in the US.

By combining their portfolios, the companies believe they will deepen their footprint in the competitive US distribution market, and establish a base for further substantial growth.

Distell brands involved in the deal include its Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, and Deanston Scottish single malts, heritage cognac brand Bisquit, and the South African brands Amarula and Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky.

Terlato's current distribution portfolio includes Marnier Cognac, Langley's London No 8 Gin and Tiramisu Liqueur, among others.

Terlato Artisan Spirits will be led by Terlato chief executive William Terlato until a permanent chief executive can be appointed.

Each company will own a 50% stake in the Chicago-based joint venture, which will begin trading in February 2016.

Steven Nathan, Distell

Terlato Artisan Spirits will operate as an independent commercial division within the family-owned Terlato Wine Group.

Steven Nathan, managing director of Distell International, said: "We are very excited by the development and believe that the new operation establishes us as an important and relevant USA player in the artisan spirits business and presents us with a great opportunity to grow."

In a related move, the two companies have also signed a long-term agreement for the Terlato Wine Group to distribute four Distell wine brands in the US: Nederburg, Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle and Two Oceans.

Terlato said: "These wines are an excellent addition to our portfolio. We've been a big believer in South African wines for years.

"There is major untapped marketplace potential for high-quality South African wines, and we're looking forward to working with our partners at Distell to bring these exceptional wines to more USA consumers."

Terlato represents over 70 wines from 12 countries and has a 20% market share of wines retailing at $20 or more.

Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky