Distillers sued for $100m over Michael Collins

The US makers of Jim Beam, Canadian Club and Makers Mark have been sued for $100 million (€76.8m) by an importer that claims Beam Inc and its Cooley Distillery unit broke a contract to supply it with Michael Collins Irish Whiskey.

The importer — the New York-based Sidney Frank Importing Co (SFIC) — claimed in a suit filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court that the defendants cut off its access to the private-label whiskey brand after Beam acquired Cooley last year.

“Cooley unilaterally and wholly without justification abandoned its supply contract with SFIC,” the importer claimed.

“Beam orchestrated this move in order to monopolise Cooley’s production capacity for the benefit of its Kilbeggan brand, which Beam is aggressively promoting in the United States where Michael Collins had been ascending rapidly,” the importer said in its complaint.

SFIC claimed the move is part of Beam’s strategy to challenge the top-selling Jameson Irish Whiskey brand and rid the market of private-label whiskeys including Michael Collins.

SFIC sued Beam and Cooley for breach of contract, unfair competition and tortious interference with the importer’s business relationships with distributors throughout the US.

Beam spokesperson Clarkson Hine said they were confident they would win the case.

“We have been in commercial discussions with Sidney Frank regarding this matter.

“We are confident in our position and that we will prevail,” said Mr Hine.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Carer grandparents feel taken for granted: study

Kerry driver guilty of crash perjury

Homeless man with trust fund seeks further €4,500

Former hospice chief loses case against ‘Irish Examiner’


You might also like

Breaking Stories

TG4 opinion poll in Donegal shows FF may thwart SF’s Dáil hopes

Gardaí appeal for information on cars believed to be used in Eddie Hutch attack

Transatlantic flight diverted to Dublin Airport

David Drumm expected to drop fight against extradition

Lifestyle

How engaged are the Irish abroad in the upcoming general election

MAKING CENTS: Focus on the rate when shopping for a mortgage

The Survivalist: The Irish sci-fi about to hit the big screen

Chinese New Year: In the year of the monkey

More From The Irish Examiner