Brown-Forman says it ‘is not for sale’

Brown-Forman Corp, the U.S.-based spirits firm behind such brands as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, Woodford Reserve among others confirmed on Thursday that it ‘is not for sale’.

A story that broke on Tuesday and first reported by CNBC had said that Brown-Forman was approached by New York-based Constellation Brands, a beer, wine and spirits firm with offer to acquire Brown-Forman but was rebuffed by the firm.

Brown-Forman’s chairman, George Garvin Brown IV and the company’s chief executive officer, Paul Varga, said in a statement on Thursday:

“As a matter of corporate policy, Brown-Forman does not comment on market rumours or speculation. However, it is important to reiterate that Brown-Forman is not for sale.

“For nearly 150 years, the company and the Brown family have been committed to preserving Brown-Forman as a thriving, family-controlled, independent company. That commitment is unchanged, and our goal is to continue creating value for all shareholders for generations to come.”

Brown-Forman, though a public company, is majorly controlled by the fifth generation of the Brown family, who hold 67.4% of the firm’s shares.

The company is reported to be worth $22.24bn, while Constellation Brands is valued at $35.53bn.

The maker of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey has seen its revenue and profits slide in the last three quarters, hurt by foreign exchange headwinds and lost revenue from the sale of two brands – Southern Comfort and Tuaca in January 2016.

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