SOURCE: Glazer's Distributors

August 12, 2008 16:34 ET

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and Glazer's Distributors Form National Strategic Joint Venture: Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America

New Wine and Spirits Venture Creates Country's Leading Beverage Alcohol Management and Services Distribution Venture Covering 38 States

New Senior Management Team to Be Comprised of Executives From Both Companies

MIAMI, FL and ADDISON, TX--(Marketwire - August 12, 2008) - Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the Nation's Leading Wine and Spirits Distributor and Control State Broker with a tradition of service of excellence since 1968, and Glazer's Distributors, one of the country's largest wholesale distributors of wine, spirits and malt and founded in 1909, are pleased to announce the formation of Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America. According to the two companies, this new national strategic joint venture for wine and spirits will cover the 38 states that represent more than 80 percent of the total Wine and Spirits volume in the United States.

Commenting on the new venture, Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., and Chairman of the new venture, said, "I have known the Glazer Family for 50 years and they are people with the utmost integrity and who have a great passion for the business. The strategic joint venture of our two leading organizations -- each with a great history -- will create the most capable and effective U.S. Distributor network in the business, fortified by the combined efforts of the team members of both our companies."

Bennett Glazer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Glazer's Distributors, and Vice Chairman of the new venture, said, "As we celebrate our 100th year of business next year, the joining together with Southern Wine & Spirits allows our company to progress to the next level. We are excited by the enhanced prospects for growth for both companies and believe there will be considerable benefits for all stakeholders involved."

Mr. Glazer added, "My family and I are extremely excited to be working side by side with the Chaplin Family and Southern Wine & Spirits, whose reputation for forward thinking and strategic foresight is so similar to ours."

Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new strategic joint venture, said, "The combination of the resources of our two great companies will bring greater scale and synergies to the marketplaces we serve and, therefore, allow us to be better partners to both our Suppliers and our Retailer customers. Given the highly competitive landscape at the distributor level and the ever more consolidated marketplace at the Supplier tier, we believe the time is right for a more National-type Distribution Footprint. Together we expect to be able to create significant value for all tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. We are confident that greater value will be created by simplifying the way to market for suppliers, creating lower go-to-market costs via our new arrangement, and improving our National on- and off-premise account penetration."

Mr. Jerry Cargill, who will serve as the new President of Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America, said, "Both companies on their own have an incredible amount of momentum. This combination will only accelerate through the adoption of best practices gleaned from both organizations, creating the most dynamic strategic joint venture in the industry. In addition, our talented team members from both companies will continue to serve the same customers who have come to rely on our superior service over the years."

Referring to the current and future roles of their respective team members at each company, both Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin and Mr. Cargill emphasized, "With the establishment of Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America, our two companies will create an historic management and operations services venture. This new strategic joint venture will draw upon the experience and expertise of two of the country's leading distributors. Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America will have increased capabilities to better serve suppliers and customers and will be well-positioned for future success. Both companies have exceptional teams of talented and experienced associates. We are both extremely excited to work with Melvin A. Dick, who will serve as Senior Vice President of the new venture."

Mr. Dick said, "I look forward to working hand in hand with the Glazer team to help create the greatest wine and spirits distribution company in the United States."

Brad Vassar, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Sales and Marketing of the new venture, added, "I am thrilled to work alongside Mike Maxwell, who will serve with me as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Operations, and plan on bringing the National scope of our two organizations together. We both realize that the key will be local execution for our supplier partners and that part of the organization will be benefited by the focus of bringing the best elements of both companies together. This strategic joint venture will create an organization capable of delivering the highest standards of sales, operations and service excellence in the industry to each and every critical sales channel we are dedicated to serving on behalf of all our supplier partners; we will know we are successful when this transition is seamless to our customer base."

Mr. Maxwell further added, "The national synergies and economies of scale of our new company will allow us to better compete in the highly competitive and ever-changing industry landscape in the United States. Brad and I will lead a dedicated team that will include Lee F. Hager and Cary Rossel, the two new Co-Executive Vice Presidents and Chief Administrative and Accounting Officers of the strategic joint venture -- that will oversee the integration of the two organizations."

To guide the strategic venture in its ability to maximize its resources and create more value that will, in turn, enable it to invest heavily behind its people, its brands and its operating infrastructure and systems, the venture will be establishing the office of Chief Financial Officer. That office will be led by both Mr. Steven R. Becker, the new Co-Executive Vice President/Finance along with Mr. Rossel; Mr. Hager will also serve in this office in his capacity as Co-Chief Accounting Officer.

The new venture will have a footprint covering 38 states, of which 17 will be Control State markets. The total customer base of Southern/Glazer's Distributors of America will be approximately 300,000 accounts nationwide, supported by 18,000 associates. The strategic joint venture will create the largest distributor of wine and spirits in the United States.

Mr. Harvey R. Chaplin and Mr. Glazer said, "The reality of creating the strongest leadership team behind Wayne and Jerry and Brad and Mike will give us the ability to execute for our supplier partners and realize the potential that exists for our brands and our strategic joint venture. This new strategic relationship will be backed by a powerful association of two exceptionally successful companies coming together to create the foremost Distributor in America, one that will help us compete more effectively and provide better stability for our employees and suppliers for the future."

This new strategic joint venture will not include the states of Illinois and Arizona, or Glazer's malt beverage business. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain regulatory clearances.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation's Leading Wine and Spirits Distributor and Control States Broker, with a tradition of service excellence since 1968 and proud to be celebrating its 40th anniversary, operates in 30 states, and is a licensed permitee in the state of Nebraska. The Company currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Company has a pending strategic partnership with The Odom Corporation of Bellevue, Washington, a joint venture that has wine and spirits brokerage operations across the Northwest Control States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, as well as a fully-operational sales and distribution business in Alaska. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 12,000 team members. For more information contact: www.southernwine.com

About Glazer's Distributors:

Glazer's, which will soon celebrate its centennial year, currently operates in 12 states, and is one of the nation's largest distributors of wine, spirits and malt products. The company has operations in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company began in 1909 in Dallas, Texas, where Louis Glazer opened the Jumbo Bottling Company. Glazer's Distributors, as the company is known today, was established on September 3, 1933 in Dallas, Texas. For more information, contact: www.glazers.com

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Wayne E. Chaplin
    President & Chief Operating Officer
    Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
    Telephone: (305) 625-4171

    Louis Zweig
    Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy
    Glazer's Distributors
    Telephone: (972) 392-8389