Builds on Long-Standing Partnership, Affirms Strength of Three-Tier System

Corporate and Financial News


Deerfield, Ill. – Jan. 30, 2012 – Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, is pleased to announce that it has signed Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (SWS), the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor and control state broker, to a long-term exclusive distribution agreement in Washington State as part of the state’s transition to privatization of the sale of beverage alcohol.

Southern Wine & Spirits is Beam’s sole distribution partner now in 29 states, making SWS Beam’s single largest distribution partner. As part of the performance-based agreement, SWS will utilize a focused sales division to distribute all of Beam’s leading brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Red Stag by Jim Beam, Hornitos Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Skinnygirl Cocktails, Courvoisier Cognac, Maker's Mark Whiskey, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Cruzan Rum and DeKuyper Cordials and Liqueurs.

“Southern Wine & Spirits is an outstanding distributor partner for Beam in markets throughout the country, including serving as our distributor broker in Washington State since 2010,” said Bill Newlands, Beam President North America. “Working together, year over year we’ve achieved significant growth which has directly contributed to Beam becoming the fastest growing spirits company in the U.S.”

Newlands continued, “We look forward to continuing to outperform the market with Southern Wine & Spirits as our partner in growth, including tapping into the many opportunities in Washington State.”

“We are thrilled to represent Beam’s world-class brands in the state of Washington,” said Wayne Chaplin, president and COO of Southern Wine & Spirits. “We have made a tremendous investment in the state in terms of new warehousing, technology and people resources. Beam and Southern already partner together coast-to-coast, and now it’s a privilege to work together to drive growth in Washington as the state moves toward privatization.”

The long-term agreement, which aligns with both companies’ strategic performance plans, takes effect March 1, 2012, for on-premise and June 1, 2012, for off-premise.

About Beam Inc.

As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Maker's Mark Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher's Scotch Whisky, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Cruzan Rum, Hornitos Tequila, Knob Creek Bourbon, EFFEN Vodka, Pucker Flavored Vodka, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC, DeKuyper Cordials, and Skinnygirl Cocktails. The Beam portfolio includes 10 of the world’s top 100 premium spirits brands and some of the industry’s fastest growing innovations. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2010 sales of $2.7 billion on volume of 33 million 9-liter cases.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America: Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with current operations in 28 states. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia—and the additional six states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah through the Southern Wine/Spirits West partnership. In addition, SWS has announced two additional pending strategic arrangements—one with Glazer’s in the center of the country and one with The Odom Corporation involving the aforementioned Pacific Northwest states and Alaska—that would result in an incremental 9 markets to SWS’ present footprint. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members. For more information contact: