Class A NYSE: BF.A|
Class B NYSE: BF.B
S&P 500 Component (BF.B)
Distilled beverage |
|Headquarters||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Paul C. Varga, Chairman & CEO|
|Revenue||US$ 3.614 billion (FY 2012)|
|US$ 788 million (FY 2012)|
|US$ 513 million (FY 2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 3.477 billion (FY 2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 2.069 billion (FY 2012)|
Number of employees
The Brown-Forman Corporation is one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, it manufactures several well known brands throughout the world, including Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Finlandia, Herradura, Korbel, and Chambord. Brown-Forman formerly owned Southern Comfort and Tuaca before selling them off in 2016.
As of fiscal 2012 the company had sales of $3.6 billion. The roughly 40 members of the Brown family, cousins that are descendants of founder George Garvin Brown, control more than 70% of the voting shares.
The company was founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, a young pharmaceuticals salesman in Louisville, who had the then-novel idea of selling top-grade whiskey in sealed glass bottles.
In 2005, the company sold its Lenox division (one of the oldest and most famous manufacturers of fine china in the United States), which had been acquired in 1983, to Department 56 for $USD 160 million. The income generated by the sale was distributed to the shareholders in the form of a one time special dividend.
In 2006, the company acquired the Chambord liqueur brand (a super-premium black raspberry liqueur produced in France) for $US 255 million.
In 2007, the company acquired Tequila Herradura, a Mexican company that produces the Casa Herradura tequila brand (a super-premium tequila produced in Mexico) for $US 776 million, while it also sold its Hartman Luggage division (one of the leaders in the travel goods industry and originally a subdivision of Lenox), to Clarion Capitol Partners. One year later, it sold the Bolla and Fontana Candida Italian wine brands to Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV). The terms of neither sale were disclosed.
In 2013, the company joined leading alcohol producers as part of a producers' commitments to reducing harmful drinking.
In 2016, the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands were sold to Sazerac Company for $543 Million.
In 2016, Brown-Forman also reached an agreement to purchase The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited for approximately £285 million. The purchase brought GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh to Brown-Forman's portfolio.
Brown Forman has two classes of common stock, both of which are traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. The Class A shares carry voting privileges and are thinly traded due to control by the Brown family while the Class B shares are Non-voting stock.
China bribery accusations
In 2011, Brown-Forman was accused of illegally subsidizing its distributors in China, and subsequently delaying payment to them as agreed under contract. The Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce fined Brown-Forman 2 million renminbi (US$320,000) for illegal subsidization.
Environmental track record
In 2009, Newsweek magazine ranked Brown-Forman in their "Green Rankings" which examines 500 of the largest corporations on their environmental track record. Brown-Forman was ranked 63rd out of 500 overall, and was ranked 3rd in their industry.
- Woodford Reserve, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Early Times, Kentucky Whisky
- Jack Daniel's, Tennessee Whiskey
- Old Forester, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky (the first bottled bourbon sold exclusively in sealed bottles and the oldest bourbon continuously on the market – first bottled in 1870)
- Canadian Mist, Blended Canadian Whisky
- Collingwood, Canadian Whisky
- GlenDronach, Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- BenRiach, Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Glenglassaugh, Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Finlandia vodka
- Maximus Vodka
- Little Black Dress (Discontinued 2014)
- Pepe Lopez Tequilas
- Tequila Herradura
- Don Eduardo Tequilas
- El Jimador
- Chambord raspberry liqueur
- Southern Comfort, New Orleans liqueur (sold 2016)
- Tuaca Italian vanilla liqueur (sold 2016)
- "Brown-Forman, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Jun 27, 2012" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "George Garvin Brown IV: A family man rides the bourbon boom". theglobeandmail.com. May 1, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- Brown-Forman Adds Chambord to Liquor Cabinet, New York Times Dealbook, March 16, 2006.
- Brown-Forman Completes Chambord Acquisition, press release, June 1, 2006.
- Chris Mercer (November 29, 2007). "US: Casa Herradura helps offset costs for Brown-Forman Q2: Beverage News & Comment". Just-drinks.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Concha y Toro Buying Fetzer for $238 Million". Wine Spectator. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Brown-Forman to Acquire the Glendronach, Benriach, AND Glenglassaugh Single Malt Scotch Whiskies". Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Brown-Forman accused of illegal subsidies in China again". Want China Times. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Brown-Forman Involved in Bribery Again in Shanghai". SinoCast. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Newsweek, Greenest Big Companies in America – The 2009 List". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- "Newsweek – Green Ranking - Brown-Forman". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- "Woodford Reserve". Woodford Reserve. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Early Times". Early Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey". Jackdaniels.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Love Life. Sip Responsibly". Old Forester. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Canadian Mist". Canadian Mist. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Collingwood the toast of the town — new Canadian whiskey creates a buzz on Georgian Bay".
- "KORBEL Champagne Cellars - Welcome". Korbel.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Herradura Tequila, since 1870". Herradura.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Southern Comfort. New Orleans Original". Southerncomfort.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.