Acquisition Reflects Major Brands’ Long-term Strategy to Rebuild Business
St. Louis, MO – Major Brands, Inc., the leading Missouri-owned distributor of premium wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Missouri Beverage Company (MoBev), another St. Louis-based statewide distributor of wine, spirits and beer. The intended acquisition is part of Major Brands’ efforts to rebuild its business after the industry’s largest supplier, Diageo, unlawfully terminated its franchise relationship with Major Brands in 2013. Major Brands contends the unlawful termination was part of a concerted attempt with Glazer’s to break Missouri’s alcohol regulatory structure, and is contesting it in the courts.
“The last two years have been an incredible journey for the Major Brands team and for me personally,” said Major Brands’ CEO Susan B. McCollum. “When Diageo terminated us, we were expected to collapse. We withstood those challenges and are rebuilding our business. This is a tribute to my late husband, Todd, and our incredible team.”
Combining MoBev’s outstanding portfolio of suppliers with Major Brands would allow Major Brands to rebuild some of the business it lost in 2013. Its largest suppliers include Edrington, Wilson Daniels, Founders Brewing and Rogue Ales and Spirits. Bill Reichhardt, MoBev President founded the company in 2000.
“It makes sense to have Missouri Beverage join the Major Brands family,” Reichhardt said. “The outstanding performance MoBev has delivered to its suppliers and customers will only be furthered at Major Brands. This is a success story for both companies, our suppliers and retailers throughout the state.”
“The Garco acquisition last December demonstrated that we still have fight left in us,” McCollum said. “Our acquisition of MoBev is further evidence that Major Brands is committed to remain in business in Missouri and keep the Major Brands family together. We are confident that with the MoBev acquisition Major Brands will strengthen its position as a leading statewide craft beer distributor, and enhance our wine and spirits portfolio.”
MoBev’s suppliers will benefit from Major Brands’ superior statewide distribution network and highly educated craft beer, wine and spirits sales teams.
MoBev’s operations will be combined into Major Brands’ statewide wine, spirits and beer distribution business. Major Brands’ management and team will remain in place after the acquisition. Major Brands’ goal is to retain as many MoBev employees as possible. As part of the terms of the acquisition, the Wirtz family is making an investment in Major Brands. Wirtz Beverage had a minority investment in Missouri Beverage. Pending customary due diligence, regulatory approvals and concluding negotiations, the transaction is expected to close this fall.
Major Brands is Missouri’s largest Missouri-owned distributor of premium wine, spirits, beer and nonalcoholic beverages, with offices in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis. It serves more than 9,000 customers throughout the state. It began operations in 1934, following the repeal of Prohibition and celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.