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Liquor major Jim Beam to expand in India

November 28, 2005 11:16 IST

Jim Beam Brands, the spirits and wine business arm of the $7 billion Fortune Brands Inc, which acquired more than 20 leading international liquor brands, including Teacher's Scotch whisky, from Pernod Ricard recently, has ambitious plans to further strengthen its market share in India.

The company would pump in fresh investments in India to expand the market by increasing its marketing personnel and promotional activities.

The liquor major is also planning to introduce four to five new brands from its international portfolio in India, said Rupert Patrick, vice-president (global travel and retail and affiliates), Jim Beam Brands.

Patrick, however, declined to reveal the size of investment for the market expansion activities planned for India.

Teacher's Scotch whisky currently enjoys about 45 per cent market share in India in the bottled-in-India Scotch segment.

Rupert Patrick, who was in the city to attend the Teacher's Achievement Awards 2005, said that Jim Beam has keen interest in the growth of Teacher's Scotch portfolio in India.

"We will invest in the continued growth of our leading brands with a strong emphasis on marketing. The overall strategy includes leveraging our broader and stronger portfolio to support brand growth and capitalise on new international growth opportunities," he added.

The Illinois-based Fortune Brands had recently completed the acquisition of the spirit and wine brands and related assets from Pernod Ricard following Pernod's acquisition of Allied Domecq, one of the leading wine and spirit companies in the world. Fortune is currently in the process of integrating the businesses of the acquired entity globally.

The global acquisition of Allied Domecq business includes international brands such as Teacher's Scotch whisky, Souza tequila, Courvoisier cognac, Canadian Club whisky, Laphroaig single malt Scotch and Clos du Bois wines.

Fortune Brands is also acquiring leading national brands in the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany and the distribution operations of Allied Domecq in these markets for California wine and Pernod Ricard's Larios brand and the production facilities related to the brands.

Patrick said that the acquisition of these brands will more than double the revenue of Jim Beam Brands and place it among the top four spirits companies in the world.
C H Unnikrishnan in Mumbai