Edrington and Beam Suntory have reached an agreement to end their joint-venture distribution businesses after more than a decade of partnership.

From 2 August 2021, subject to regulatory approval, Edrington will take full ownership of Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, to become known as Edrington UK, headed up by current managing director Mark Riley.

In the agreement, Beam Suntory will assume full ownership of Maxxium in Spain.

Both companies will continue to distribute their current portfolios ensuring no change in the presence of Beam Suntory and Edrington brands in either market.

“As our business sharpens its focus on the rapidly growing opportunities for ultra-premium and prestige spirits, we are excited by the potential to work more closely with the talented Edrington-Beam Suntory UK team to accelerate this strategy while continuing to strengthen our presence of The Famous Grouse in our home market,” said Huw Pennell, Edrington’s regional managing director for Europe.

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The 10% equity stake that Suntory Holdings owns in Edrington will remain unaffected by this agreement.

London-based gin brand Sipsmith, which has been a subsidiary of Beam Suntory since 2016, will also be unaffected by the equity swap and continue to be distributed independently.

“The UK remains vitally important for Beam Suntory, and we look forward to continuing our close relationship with Edrington-Beam Suntory UK as our trusted distributor partner. The UK will always be a priority growth market for us, and London will continue to play a critical role as a global centre of luxury for our premium portfolio, including Maker’s Mark and Sipsmith,” said Pryce Greenow, president of international and global sales excellence officer at Beam Suntory.