Stoli fills a gap for Maxxium

12 December, 2008

Question marks over the future of Stolichnaya have been lifted with the Edrington Group's announcement

it has won

UK distribution rights.

SPI, the brand's Russian owner, was left looking for a new distributor earlier this year . Pernod Ricard relinquished its international rights to market Stolichnaya in the wake of its acquisition of rival vodka brand Absolut.

Stolichnaya will join the portfolio of Maxxium UK - the distribution joint venture in which Edrington is a partner - no later than Jan 5. The deal is a massive boost to Maxxium and fills the gap left by

Absolut's exit.

Maxxium UK managing director Huw Pennell said: "The addition of a premium international vodka was a key strategic priority for the business and Stoli is precisely the sort of iconic brand that complements our existing portfolio."

The new arrangement covers all Stolichnaya variants, including its flavours range and the ultra-premium Elit.

Stolichnaya was the subject of a high-profile relaunch last year, refocusing the brand on its Soviet-era Russian heritage. Annual sales are around 100,000 cases.

The UK is Stolichnaya's third biggest export market behind the US and Greece.

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