Allied ends distribution agreement with Seagram

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The Independent Online
ALLIED-LYONS is further tightening its grip on the distribution of the 42 million cases of wines and spirits it ships annually, writes John Shepherd.

Hiram Walker, its wine and spirits offshoot, is ending exisiting distribution agreements with the Canadian company Seagram for the French and German markets.

Seagram handles more than 1 million cases a year of Ballantine's, Courvoisier Cognac, Tia Maria, Kahlua and Canadian Club whisky in France and Germany.

Links between the two companies date back to 1964. Allied, like Guinness and Grand Metropolitan, has cemented its position among top drinks companies by direct control of nearly 90 per cent of sales and distribution.

Henry Pomeroy, of Hiram Walker, said: 'France and Germany are very important markets for us, and we want greater control of distribution and sales.'

A spokeswoman for Seagram said: 'We are still discussing what is going to happen, and we have contingency plans in place.'

The two companies are discussing possible future arrangements once the contract notice period expires at the end of this year.

Other brands Seagram handles in France and Germany include Glenmorangie and Jack Daniel's.