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April 23, 2012 | last updated April 24, 2012 10:23 am

White Rock Distilleries sells vodka line for $605M

Beam Inc., the company behind Jim Beam Bourbon, is buying the Pinnacle Vodka brand from Lewiston-based White Rock Distilleries for $605 million. The deal also includes White Rock's Calico Jack rum brand.

According to a press release from Beam, Pinnacle Vodka sales have consistently grown by double digits to make it the fourth-largest imported vodka brand in the country. Acquiring the brand will boost Beam's presence in the growing vodka market. Paul Coulombe, CEO of White Rock, said he was "pleased" to have grown the brand and now sell it to Beam. Launched in 2002, the vodka brand is known for its variety of flavors, including a line of whipped dessert flavors like chocolate, cherry and key lime.

Beam expects to finance the deal through existing credit facilities or new debt, or a combination of both. It's expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.

White Rock Distilleries manufactures and markets a number of spirits, including vodka, tequila and whiskey. It sold more than three million 9-liter cases last year, according to the release. In 2007, it sold the Three Olives brand vodka to Proximo Spirits Inc., a new company, for an undisclosed price.

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