Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Drinks Americas Announces Plans To Acquire Global Beverages Asia

Following the Chinese Ministry of Commerce rejection of Coca-Cola's application to acquire China Huiyuan Juice Group, Drinks Americas Holdings Ltd., an owner, developer and marketer of global premium beverages, has announced plans to acquire Global Beverages Asia Ltd.

Global Beverages Asia is the new name for the combination of Yarraman Winery and Asia Distribution Solutions, a combination which has existing distribution operations and large retail stores in China for its proprietary and non-proprietary wines, spirits, beers, mixers and soft drinks.

The acquisition by Drinks Americas is subject to completion of due diligence, the negotiation of definitive agreements, and the satisfaction of legal requirements.

Drinks Americas owns and markets brands that include Kid Rock Beer, Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon, Trump Super Premium Vodka, Newman's Sparkling Juice Drinks, Rheingold Beer, Leyrat Estate Bottled Cognacs, and an additional line of spirits to be introduced in partnership with Interscope and Dr. Dre. The Drinks Americas portfolio will be added to the products currently sold by ADSL in China and by Yarraman's global sales and export arm selling wines in Australia, Europe, and throughout the Pacific Rim.

ADSL currently has Chinese operations in Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and Shenzhen through wholly-owned distributors. The company also sells product in China through its 51% owned chain of "big box" or "WineMall " stores, which ADSL expects to grow to approximately fifty outlets over the next three years.

In addition to its proprietary labels, ADSL distributes Heineken, Tiger Beer, Pabst, Tsingtao, Sunkist Sodas and Snapple Beverages as well as Yeshu Coconut Juice, Jia Jia Liang Teh Herbal Drinks and Kelsoloch Mixers. The company also provides procurement and logistics in China for the purchase of wine, spirits and beverages for supermarkets, hotels, high-end restaurants, bars and cafes. The company operates nine "store within a store" operations at Times Ltd. Hypermarket with the Pine Group.

ADSL is in the process of being acquired by Yarraman, an Australian-based vineyard and winery operation, which, together with its Jugiong Vineyard, has the capacity to produce 160,000 cases of wine per year, giving the company significant capacity to meet the growing demand for wines in China through its WineMall retail outlets. In addition to Yarraman Wines, the company also sells Ironstone, Santa Carolina, Bass Phillip, Vine San Pedro and La Barcia wines. Yarraman has tangible assets of USD45 million.

The combined company will operate from offices in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and Shanghai. Michael Kingshott is expected to join Drinks Americas as chairman of the board, and Patrick Kenny will become president and CEO of the combined operations.

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