City & Corporate: SPI calls in Tulchan for Stolichnaya sale

Stolichnaya owner SPI Group has drafted in Tulchan Communications around a possible sale of the top-selling brand, should the bid for its FTSE 100 distributor Allied Domecq succeed.

Tulchan co-founders Andrew Honnor and Andrew Grant began working for SPI last week, just before last Thursday's agreed £7.4bn stock and cash offer for Allied by Pernod Ricard, as broken on (21 April).

In a statement last Tuesday, SPI said it had also appointed HSBC as its financial adviser to review 'options' on agreements Allied has with SPI to distribute Stolichnaya in the EU, the US, Asia-Pacific and other regions.

Allied's exclusive agreement to market and distribute Stolichnaya in the US runs until 2010, but the deal contains a change- of-control clause, which would allow SPI to choose a different partner if the Pernod/Allied deal goes through.

It was reported this week that SPI has been in talks with Pernod about US marketing and distribution rights for Stolichnaya.

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