TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Corby Distilleries Limited ("Corby or the
"company") announced today Corby has entered into an agreement with Pernod
Ricard S.A. ("Pernod Ricard") providing Corby the exclusive right to represent
Absolut vodka in Canada effective October 1, 2008 for the next five years to
September 30, 2013. As part of this agreement, Corby will also receive the
exclusive right to represent Plymouth gin and Level vodka. Pernod Ricard
indirectly owns in excess of 50% of the issued and outstanding voting common
shares of Corby and is considered to be Corby's ultimate parent.
Absolut is the number one premium vodka brand worldwide with around 11
million nine litre cases sold in 2007 and is an iconic brand with an image
built around values of creativity, innovation and cultural leadership. It is
one of only four international spirits brands in the world which sells more
than 10 million cases a year and has an especially attractive growth profile.
Following the recent acquisition of the Vin & Sprit Group, Pernod Ricard is
the world's co-leading spirits and wine group. Absolut vodka now joins the
other Pernod Ricard brands in Corby's portfolio and complements Corby's
strategy, while further enhancing the company's premium brands portfolio.
The agreement to represent Absolut vodka lifts Corby to number two in the
vodka category in Canada with a 25% volume share - combining Absolut with
other key vodka brands within Corby's distribution network, such as Polar Ice.
The distribution of Absolut vodka is expected to add about $2.5 million
annually to Corby's commission income and about $1.2 million annually to net
earnings in the first full year. "I am very excited about adding an iconic
brand like Absolut vodka to the Corby portfolio and even more pleased that we
have been able to leverage our successful track record and relationship to
secure a long-term deal. We had been seeking to add a global brand,
particularly in the premium vodka segment, but were constrained by our size
and resources, so the opportunity to represent Absolut vodka in Canada fits
perfectly with our strategy", said Con Constandis, Corby's Chief Executive
The Corby Board of Directors also announced an amendment to its dividend
policy, which will be applicable for the next three years. Subject to
unanticipated developments, regular dividends will be paid quarterly, on the
basis of an annual amount equal to the greater of 50% of net earnings per
share in the preceding fiscal year ended June 30, and $0.56 per share. The
previously-announced dividend policy of Corby was to pay quarterly dividends
on the basis of an annual amount of $0.56 per share.
Corby has also agreed to continue to participate in the existing mirror
netting service agreements with Pernod Ricard's wholly-owned Canadian
subsidiaries and Corby's commercial bank regarding Corby's cash surplus for
the next three years to October 1, 2011, unless earlier terminated by Corby.
Further, during the next three years to October 1, 2011, Corby will not
declare any special dividends, repurchase shares or make acquisitions or
capital investments outside the normal course of business without the prior
approval of Pernod Ricard.
Since the agreement with Pernod Ricard is a related party transaction
between Corby and Pernod Ricard, the agreement was approved by the Independent
Committee of the Board of Directors of Corby following an extensive review.
Corby's portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned
brands in Canada, including Wiser's Canadian whiskies, Lamb's rum, Polar Ice
vodka and Seagram Coolers. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard, Corby
also represents leading international brands such as Absolut vodka, Chivas
Regal, The Glenlivet and Ballantine's scotches, Jameson Irish whiskey,
Beefeater gin, Malibu and Kahlza liqueurs, Mumm champagne, and Jacob's Creek
and Wyndham Estate 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.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating,
but not limited to, Corby's operations and business prospects. Forward-looking
information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate,
"believe", "expect" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. Such
forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other
factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future
results expressed, projected or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Such factors include, but are not limited to economic, competitive and
industry conditions. Corby disclaims any responsibility to update any such
For further information:
For further information: CORBY DISTILLERIES LIMITED, Con Constandis,
President and Chief Executive Officer, John Nicodemo, Chief Operating Officer
and Chief Financial Officer, Tel.: (416) 479-2400, email@example.com,