Corby Distilleries Announces Sale of Selected Brands and Manufacturing Facility

Strategic Transaction Creates More Targeted Portfolio and Reduces Overlap

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Corby Distilleries Limited ("Corby" or the "Company") (TSX:CDL.A, TSX:CDL.B) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell certain owned-brands as well as the shares of its subsidiary that owns the manufacturing and bottling facility in Montréal, Québec, to Sazerac Company, Inc. ("Sazerac") for a purchase price of $32.9 million, plus the value of inventory on hand at closing. The transaction is expected to close on October 31, 2011.  Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc. acted as the Company's exclusive financial advisor in the transaction.

The transaction involves the sale of 17 brands, including De Kuyper Geneva gin, De Kuyper Peachtree schnapps, Red Tassel vodka and Silk Tassel Canadian whisky, as well as the Montréal-based manufacturing facility where a significant portion of the brands are produced. On closing, all employees of the facility will be employed by Sazerac, and a number of Corby-owned brands will continue to be blended, bottled and warehoused in the facility through a contract manufacturing agreement entered into with Sazerac.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement on this strategic divestiture," commented Patrick O'Driscoll, Corby President & Chief Executive Officer. "We had some brand overlap in certain spirit categories and this transaction helps us streamline our portfolio with a more focused and targeted collection of brands, as part of our brand prioritization strategy. It also frees up more of our resources to create growth opportunities for our priority brands including Wiser's Canadian whisky, Lamb's rum, Polar Ice vodka and McGuinness liqueurs; resulting in increased shareholder value."

"Canada has become an important market for Sazerac over the past decade and we are delighted to be able to further increase our presence in the market.  We are particularly pleased at the prospect of being able to develop the De Kuyper brand in Canada," added Mark Brown, Sazerac President and Chief Executive Officer.

The large majority of Corby's remaining brands will continue to be manufactured in the Hiram Walker & Sons Limited facility located near Windsor, Ontario, which is managed by Corby on behalf of Pernod Ricard S.A.

"Corby is committed to a strategy of value growth and a focused brand portfolio that positions us for long-term growth in key categories with premium spirits and wines," added Mr. O'Driscoll. "This divestiture is an important step in moving that strategy forward."

Separately, Corby also announced that Frederic Villain is not standing for re-election to the Board of Directors (the "Board") and that John Leburn was nominated for election to the Board at the annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on November 9, 2011.  Thierry Pourchet will become Chief Financial Officer of Pernod Ricard Americas on November 9, 2011 and will remain on the Board as Pernod Ricard S.A.'s nominee. Mr. Leburn will replace Mr. Pourchet as Corby Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer on the same date.

About Corby
Corby's portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including Wiser's Canadian whisky, Lamb's rum, Polar Ice vodka and McGuinness liqueurs. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT vodka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Ballantine's Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Beefeater gin, Malibu rum, Kahlúa liqueur, Mumm champagne, and Jacob's Creek, Wyndham Estate and Graffigna wines. The existing Voting Class A Common Shares and Non-voting Class B Common Shares of the Company are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols CDL.A and CDL.B, respectively.

About Sazerac
Following its establishment in 1850, Sazerac has distilled an ever-increasing line of fine spirits. Sazerac is an independent, American family-owned company and the proud owner of many of America's most venerable distilling companies: Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Glenmore Distillery, Barton, Fleischmann, Medley and Mr. Boston.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements concerning possible or assumed future results of Corby's operations. Forward-looking statements typically are preceded by, followed by or include the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "estimates", "intends", "plans" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions and, as such, the Company's results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Corby Distilleries Limited

For further information:

CORBY DISTILLERIES LIMITED   

Thierry Pourchet, Vice-President & CFO  

Tel.: 416-479-2400     

investors@corby.ca     

www.corby.ca      
SAZERAC COMPANY, INC.
Amy Preske, Public Relations Director
Tel.: 502-696-5957
apreske@sazerac.com
www.sazerac.com

 

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