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Brown-Forman's (BF.B) Fords Gin Buyout to Enhance Portfolio

Zacks Equity Research

Brown-Forman Corporation BF.B has agreed to buy The 86 Company. Along with other assets of The 86 Company, this acquisition will bring the Fords Gin trademark to Brown-Forman’s growing portfolio of premium gins. This deal is likely to close within 30 days, after the satisfaction of customary conditions.

The renowned Fords Gin is a mix of nine botanicals, starting with the traditional base of juniper and coriander seed. This is balanced by citrus, florals and spices. This bend is steeped for 15 hours before distillation, delivering an aromatic, fresh and floral spirit, with elegant notes of jasmine and grapefruit. This unique brand is witnessing strong momentum in one of the fastest growing spirits categories.

The Fords Gin is a versatile spirit, created with inputs from professional bartenders, which can be used in any gin-based cocktail.

Fords Gin was formed by the collaboration of Simon Ford and 8th generation Distiller Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers. Even after the recent acquisition by Brown-Forman, Simon Ford and The 86 Company team will continue to craft Fords Gin.

Brown-Forman is focused on investing in the diversification of its brand portfolio to drive growth. For more than a decade, its Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey has been the key contributor to growth in the United States. The company’s investments in brands center around broadening the Jack Daniel’s family of brands while also exiting the weaker brands and expanding the fast-growing premium spirits categories.

Further, the company is investing for organically accelerating growth of two fast-growing spirits categories, bourbon and tequila. The Woodford Reserve and the Old Forester trademarks are mainly driving growth of the Bourbon category in the United States. Further, the Tequila portfolio in the United States is gaining from strong performance of Herradura and el Jimador brands. These balanced portfolio investments are supporting the company’s track record of consistent growth. We believe that the addition of Fords Gin will fortify its spirits portfolio.

Driven by the portfolio expansion endeavors and robust earnings track record, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 13.4% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 6.9%.

Looking for Better-Ranked Beverage Stocks? Check These

Campari Corp. DVDCY currently has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.5% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

PepsiCo Inc. PEP has a long-term earnings growth rate of nearly 7% and a Zacks Rank #2 at present.

Monster Beverage Corporation MNST, also a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14.3%.

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