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Beam announces sale of Lewiston bottling plant to Sazerac

Beam, a leading global premium spirits company, announced the sale of its bottling plant in Lewiston, Maine, to a subsidiary of Sazerac, a leading spirits company.

Beam took ownership of the plant at the same time it acquired Pinnacle Vodka from White Rock Distillery in April 2012. In January 2013, Beam announced plans to enhance the efficiency of its US bottling operations and gradually transition bottling of Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack Rum from Maine to Kentucky, where more than two-thirds of the company’s global annual volume is produced.

This transition into Beam’s recently expanded center of excellence in Frankfort, Kentucky, on track for completion by the end of first quarter of 2014.

"We told the work force in Lewiston that we would explore different options for the plant, including potentially finding a suitable buyer," said Jim Morehead, Director of Manufacturing, Beam. "We couldn’t be more pleased to have Sazerac purchase the plant and to continue operating it as a spirits bottling facility."

"We are pleased to be able to add the Lewiston plant to our operations footprint," said Mark Brown, President and CEO for Sazerac. "With an experienced team who knows how to create the finest spirits, coupled with the right size and equipment and a good working knowledge of the brands we acquired from White Rock two years ago, we are looking forward to adding production volume back to the plant."

The sale includes the building, land and equipment. Beam will lease the plant back from Sazerac at least through Q1 2014 when the transition of Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack Rum into Beam’s Frankfort, Kentucky, facility is complete.

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Beam currently operates distilleries with bottling capability in Clermont, Frankfort and Loretto, as well as a distillery in Boston, Ky., and also recently completed a multi-year $30m investment in the new Jim Beam American Stillhouse visitors’ experience and state-of-the-art global innovation center in Clermont.