Brown-Forman to sell Southern Comfort and Tuaca to Sazerac for $544 million

southern_comfort_bottle_familyBrown-Forman announced on Jan 14, that it has reached an agreement to sell its Southern Comfort and Tuaca trademarks to New Orleans-based Sazerac for $543.5 million. The sale is expected to close by March 1, 2016 resulting in a one-time operating income gain for B-F of approximately $475 million in fiscal 2016.

Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga said the decision to sell these brands reflects the company’s evolving portfolio strategy and a continuation of its efforts to focus resources on its highest strategic priorities.

“We’re proud of the work undertaken over the years by our employees and partners on behalf of Southern Comfort and Tuaca,” said Varga. “Both brands played important roles in the Brown-Forman success story, and we will have fond memories of the enjoyment they brought to consumers, our partners, and to Brown-Forman.”

B-F has marketed New Orleans-based Southern Comfort since acquiring the brand in 1979. It purchased Italian liqueur Tuaca in two transactions that were completed in 2002.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to acquire such iconic brands. Brown-Forman has done an excellent job of building both brands over the years and we are looking forward to many more years of successful brand building,” said Mark Brown, President / CEO of the Sazerac Company.

Sazerac is one of New Orleans’ oldest family owned, privately held companies and has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Kentucky; Virginia; California; Maryland; Maine; New Hampshire; and Montreal, Canada.