FTC Approves Merger of Southern and Glazer's
In a notice posted on December 28, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period for the merger of Southern Wine & Spirits and Glazer's. This effectively means that the FTC has approved the merger. Early Termination is one of the ways the FTC lets companies know that their proposed merger does not pose antitrust concerns. (The other way is to simply let the waiting period expire.)
In late October, Shanken News Daily reported that Southern and Glazer’s signed a letter of intent to form a “strategic alliance,” noting that the alliance would unite the country’s first- and fourth-largest spirits and wine wholesalers with combined revenues of more than $16 billion.
Neither company confirmed or denied the story after it was published, however, and company executives didn’t return repeated calls for comment. There was also speculation that there might be less to the merger story than met the eye as the two companies announced a merger several years ago that was never consumated.
Editor’s Note and clarification: This morning’s Daily News Links email from winebusiness.com carried a link to the FTC notice with a caption saying, “It looks like the Southern/Glazer's Merger Isn't Happening, At Least Not Now.” From the perspective of the FTC, at least, that is not the case.
For more about the potential merger, see “Mergers Continue for Major Distributors” in the December 2015 issue of Wines & Vines.