Brown-Forman has agreed to sell its liqueurs Southern Comfort and Tuaca to focus more on spirits such as whiskey and tequila.
Distributed in the UK by Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, they are to be acquired by the Sazerac Company whose portfolio includes whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, handled in the UK by Hi-Spirits.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance, is worth $543.5m (£379m) and is expected to be completed on March 1. No comment has been made yet on how the disposal would affect the brands’ distribution in the UK.
Brown-Forman has marketed Southern Comfort since acquiring it in 1979. It bought Tuaca in two transactions, completing the purchase in 2002. The other leading liqueur in its portfolio is Chambord.
Mark Brown, President and CEO of the Sazerac Company, said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to acquire such iconic brands. Brown-Forman has done an excellent job of building both brands over the years and we are looking forward to many more years of successful brand building.”
Brown-Forman chief executive Paul Varga added: “We’re proud of the work undertaken over the years by our employees and partners on behalf of Southern Comfort and Tuaca. Both brands played important roles in the Brown-Forman success story, and we will have fond memories of the enjoyment they brought to consumers, our partners, and to Brown-Forman.”