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About Brown-Forman Corporation

Distiller Brown-Forman (B-F) spreads its spirits around the world. The company's portfolio of mid-priced to super-premium alcoholic beverages includes such well-known brands as Jack Daniel's, Canadian Mist, Finlandia, and Woodford Reserve. Its wine labels include Sonoma-Cutrer and Korbel champagnes. Jack Daniel's is the company's signature brand and the largest-selling American whiskey in the world (by volume). Offering more than 40 brands, the company sells its beverages in more than 170 countries across the globe; sales outside the US account for approximately half of revenue.

Operations

Although Brown-Forman operates in one segment, it generates revenue through Whiskey (about 80% of sales), Tequila (nearly 10% of sales), Wine (roughly 5% of sales), Vodka (nearly 5% of sales) and others generate the remaining sales.

Spirits includes the company's whiskey (Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Whiskey, Slane Irish Whiskey), scotch (BenRiach, GlenDronach), tequila (Herradura, el Jimador, Pepe Lopez), vodka (Finlandia), and liqueur (Chambord) brands, while wines includes the wine (Sonoma-Cutrer) and champagne (Korbel) brands.

The Jack Daniel's family of brands is the leading contributor to Brown-Forman's revenue, with Woodford Reserve, Finlandia, el Jimador, and Herradura other key labels.

Geographic Reach

The company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. The US is Brown-Forman's largest market, accounting for approximately 50% of the total sales. The UK, Germany, Australia and Mexico each accounts approximately 5% of sales, whilst other generates the remaining sales. Other important markets include Brazil, Mexico, and Canada.

The company's significant properties are located in the US (Alabama, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee), as well as Canada, France, Ireland, Mexico, and Scotland.

Sales and Marketing

In the US Brown-Forman sells to distributors or state governments (for states that control alcohol sales); it also relies on distributors in Russia, Japan, Italy, and South Africa. The company owns distribution companies in more than a dozen markets, including Australia, Mexico, Spain, Poland, and Turkey. It sells products directly to retailers, wholesalers, or, in Canada, provincial governments. In the UK, it partners with competitor Bacardi to sell a combined portfolio of both companies' products. In mid-2020, the company launched its own distribution companies in Thailand and UK.

The company's two largest markets customers are Republic National Distributing Company and Breakthru Beverage Group, which accounted for approximately 18% and 13% of sales, respectively.

The company's advertising costs were $405 million in 2018, $396 million in 2019 and $383 million in 2020, respectively.

Financial Performance

Brown-Forman had a net sales of $3.4 billion in 2020, an increase of 1% compared to fiscal 2019. Excluding the negative effect of foreign exchange and an estimated net increase in distributor inventories, underlying net sales were flat. Growth of their premium bourbon brands, the launch of JDTA, and JD RTDs was offset by declines of JDTW and Finlandia. From a geographic perspective, the United States was the largest contributor to their underlying net sales.

Net income that year was down by 1% to $827 million, primarily because of higher costs of sales.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2020 was about $675 million, an increase of $368 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed to the coffers was $724 million, while investing activities used $141 million, mainly for property and equipment. Financing activities used another $191 million as a result of dividends paid, among other activities.

Strategy

For 150 years, Brown-Forman and the Brown family have been committed to driving sustainable growth and preserving Brown-Forman as a thriving, family-controlled, independent company. "Enriching Life," and their ambition, "Nothing Better in the Market," surrounded by the values that have guided them for decades: integrity, respect, trust, teamwork, and excellence. In addition to these guiding principles, their success is dependent on their strategic priorities the quality of their brands within the company's portfolio, their geographic diversification, the caliber of their people, and the investments they make to grow their business. Moreover, an integrated lens recognizes that many aspects of their company contribute to creating value for their shareholders over the long term, including their commitment to sustainability, responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and supporting and working to solve the health, education, and social inequities, particularly the racial divide, in the communities where they live and work.

The sale reflects the continued evolution of their portfolio strategy to focus on premium brands. The company expect to recognize a gain on the sale at closing, which is currently expected to occur by October 31, 2020.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In mid-2019, the company acquired 100% of the voting interests in The 86 Company, which owns Fords Gin, for $22 in cash. The purchase price was allocated largely to the intangible assets that were acquired, including goodwill of $11 and other indefinite-lived intangibles of $12, net of deferred tax liabilities of $1.

Company Background

Brown-Forman's roots can be traced back to 1870 and George Garvin Brown's Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. By 1890 Brown had partnered with his accountant and friend, George Forman, to create Brown-Forman. The company made its first acquisition in the 1920s and issued its first public stock in 1933. It acquired Jack Daniel's in 1956.

Brown-Forman Corporation

850 Dixie Hwy
Louisville, KY 40210-1038
Phone: 1 (502) 585-1100

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: BF.B
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Board Chairman: G. Garvin Brown
Company Chairman and CEO: Paul C. Varga
COO: Lawson E. Whiting
Employees (This Location): 964
Employees (All Locations): 4,800

Major Office Locations

Louisville, KY

Other Locations

Windsor, CA
Atlanta, GA
Louisville, KY
Versailles, KY
Hauppauge, NY
Wellston, OH
Lynchburg, TN
Nashville, TN
Waynesboro, TN
Gurgaon, India
Chiyoda-Ku, Japan
Joinvile, Brazil
Vargem Grande Do Sul, Brazil