Monday, February 27, 2006

Smirnoff and Smirnov: Together Again

IOL: Smirnoff back in the familyI just love it when a family story has a happy ending. After nearly 90 years, the branches of the Smirnov family are united again, as Smirnoff brand owner Diageo acquired a 75% stake in the newer Russian Smirnov brand.
Igor Baranovsky, managing director of A 1, said: “Legendary Smirnoff and Smirnov, with their unique Russian heritage are uniting in an outstanding portfolio. This opens new horizons for their future growth.”

Andy Blain, an analyst at Shore Capital, said: “Although Russia is renowned as the birthplace of vodka, the premium and super-premium categories are not displaying the strong growth seen in other markets such as the USA. We consider the joint venture a strategic move by Diageo in order to strengthen the presence of its other main spirits brands, such as Johnnie Walker, which are displaying strong growth within Russia.”

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