SOUTH AFRICA – Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, has rebranded its South African-based distribution unit, ABV Brands as Beam Suntory South Africa.

This comes as part of Beam Suntory’s strategy to increase its share in the country after it acquired full ownership of ABV Brands in April 2018.

Beam Suntory has owned a 50% stake in ABV Brands since 2015 – which has been the company’s distribution partner in South Africa since it was founded in 2010.

According to Beam Suntory, the ABV Brands team has accelerated the growth of Beam Suntory’s portfolio in South Africa since the acquisition, reports Food BevMedia.

ABV brands, now Beam Suntory South Africa, delivered a triple-digit sales growth in 2018 and established the Courvoisier brand as the country’s second-highest selling brand in the cognac category.

Mark Pockele, managing director of Beam Suntory South Africa, said that the move is poised to position the company as a leading player in the sector.

“Today is a meaningful milestone for our business, as we officially become Beam Suntory South Africa.

For the past ten months, we have been focusing on our integration with Beam Suntory’s global business and growing our premium portfolio in this high-potential growth market.

As Beam Suntory South Africa, we will now be able to fully leverage our position as one of the world’s leading spirits businesses as we implement our ambitious growth strategy,” Mark said.

The former commercial director for MEA at Beam Suntory, Mark Pockele, assumed the role of the managing director, while ABV Brands’ Dan Hawkins continued as the commercial director following last year’s acquisition.

“We are proud to be part of the global Beam Suntory family, and to represent a company with such an extraordinary premium spirits portfolio and storied legacy here in South Africa,” Mark added.

ABV Brands was established along with Cyprus-based FIX Wines and Spirits -in 2010- and has been specialising in the marketing and distribution of imported spirits.

The team has been distributing brands on behalf of Beam Suntory, Edrington and Bols, including Jim Beam, Courvoisier, The Macallan, Maker’s Mark, Famous Grouse and Bols Liqueurs.

Beam Suntory range of products include: Bourbon whiskey, tequila, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Canadian whisky, vodka, cognac, rum and cordials.