NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Berentzen AG Group (BEZ3:GR) announced the launch of its operations in the US and the appointment of Alain Barbet to the newly created position of President and CEO, effective January 1,2013.
Mr. Barbet will spearhead the development of the Berentzen Spirits portfolio in the US, in particular the flavored spirits category with a focus on Berentzen Apple Liqueur. His role will be to work closely with the company’s importer, Total Beverage Solution, based in Mt Pleasant, SC, and to oversee the initiatives that will be designed and executed in the marketplace to expand the company’s footprint in the US at an accelerated pace.
Berentzen AG is an international beverage company based in Haseluenne, Germany. For more than 250 years, the name Berentzen has been synonymous with the production of high-quality spirits. The Berentzen portfolio consists of international brands like Berentzen Liqueurs and Pushkin Vodka, as well as popular domestic German brands such as Doorknat, Strothmann and Bommerlunder. The company is also a major bottler for Pepsi-Cola in Germany.
Alain was most recently the President of Palm Bay Spirits, the Spirits division of Palm Bay International, an industry leader in the U.S. wines and spirits marketplace, with brands like Cavit, Santa Rita and many other prestigious houses.
At Palm Bay, he oversaw the extraordinary success of Skinnygirl Margarita, a brand that grew from zero into a 150,000 cases, $20 Million retail brand in a 12 month period, and was then acquired by Beam, Inc. in March 2011. In addition, Alain helped drive the continuous growth of brands such as Aperol, Voli, and others which helped Palm Bay’s Spirits portfolio grow four fold in the last 3 years.
Previously, Mr. Barbet was Chairman and CEO of Pernod-Ricard Americas, where he managed the integration of Absolut Vodka and achieved record operating profits. Prior to that, Alain was President and CEO of Pernod-Ricard USA, the top profit contributor to the company’s 85 worldwide subsidiaries, where he led the post-acquisition integration of the former Allied Domecq company.
Frank Schuebel, the Chairman of the Board of Berentzen AG said: “We are successfully selling Berentzen AG’s brands in more than 30 countries through distribution agreements. In addition to China and Turkey, the US is now one of the 3 strategic markets where we have decided to establish our own organization to support the development of our brands, in partnership with our importer, Total Beverage Solution. US consumers are showing a growing interest in flavored spirits, a perfect fit for our Berentzen Apple, Pear and Cherry liqueurs. Alain Barbet’s appointment as President and CEO of Berentzen USA comes at the right time to realize the full potential of our entire portfolio.”
“Alain is an industry veteran who has played a critical role in driving the success of some of the world’s leading spirits and wine brands. His depth and breadth of experience will be a tremendous asset to our company moving forward” said Torsten Timm, Managing Director of Berentzen AG’s International Division. "His focus will be in helping to grow our brands in a market where we have had a presence and historic success, and bringing our company’s footprint to the next level.”
"I am extremely happy to join the Berentzen AG group, which has leveraged its 250 year history into a powerhouse in its domestic and key international markets” said Barbet. “The resources that the company has committed to growing its international presence, including in the US, are very significant and will enable me to make Berentzen Apple liqueur and the rest of the portfolio successful competitors in the marketplace.”
Berentzen AG is publicly traded on the German stock market. Its principal shareholder is Aurelius AG, a diversified investment company (AR4G.DE)