||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (November 2013)|
|Traded as||Class A NYSE: BF.A
Class B NYSE: BF.B
S&P 500 Component (BF.B)
|Headquarters||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Key people||Paul C. Varga, Chairman & CEO|
|Revenue||US$ 3.614 billion (FY 2012)|
|Operating income||US$ 788 million (FY 2012)|
|Net income||US$ 513 million (FY 2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 3.477 billion (FY 2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 2.069 billion (FY 2012)|
The Brown-Forman Corporation is one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, it manufactures some well known brands throughout the world, including Jack Daniel's, Chambord, Early Times, Finlandia, Herradura, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Old Forester, Southern Comfort, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve.
The company was founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, a young pharmaceuticals salesman in Louisville, who had the then-novel idea of selling top-grade whiskey in sealed glass bottles. Since then, it has grown into a company that in fiscal 2006 had sales of $2.4 billion. The Brown family controls more than 70% of the voting shares.
Brown Forman has two classes of common stock, both of which are traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. The Class A shares carry voting privileges and are thinly traded due to control by the Brown family while the Class B shares are Non-voting stock.
History since 2005
In 2005, the company sold its Lenox division (one of the oldest and most famous manufacturers of fine china in the United States), which had been acquired in 1983, to Department 56 for $USD 160 million. The income generated by the sale was distributed to the shareholders in the form of a one time special dividend.
In 2007, the company acquired Tequila Herradura, a Mexican company that produces the Casa Herradura tequila brand (a super-premium tequila produced in Mexico) for $US 776 million, while it also sold its Hartman Luggage division (one of the leaders in the travel goods industry and originally a subdivision of Lenox), to Clarion Capitol Partners. One year later, it sold the Bolla and Fontana Candida Italian wine brands to Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV). The terms of neither sale were disclosed.
China bribery accusations
In 2011, Brown-Forman was accused of illegally subsidizing its distributors in China, and subsequently delaying payment to them as agreed under contract. The Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce fined Brown-Forman 2 million renminbi (US$320,000) for illegal subsidization.
- Woodford Reserve, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Early Times, Kentucky Whisky
- Jack Daniel's, Tennessee Whiskey
- Old Forester, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky (the first bottled bourbon sold exclusively in sealed bottles and the oldest bourbon continuously on the market – first bottled in 1870)
- Canadian Mist, Blended Canadian Whisky
- Collingwood, Canadian Whisky
Environmental track record
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In 2009, Newsweek magazine ranked Brown-Forman in their "Green Rankings" which examines 500 of the largest corporations on their environmental track record. Brown-Forman was ranked 63rd out of 500 overall, and was ranked 3rd in their industry.
- "Brown-Forman, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Jun 27, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Feb 11, 2013.
- "Brown-Forman - Company Overview - Hoover's". Hoovers.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- Brown-Forman Adds Chambord to Liquor Cabinet, New York Times Dealbook, March 16, 2006.
- Brown-Forman Completes Chambord Acquisition, press release, June 1, 2006.
- Chris Mercer (2007-11-29). "US: Casa Herradura helps offset costs for Brown-Forman Q2: Beverage News & Comment". Just-drinks.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Concha y Toro Buying Fetzer for $238 Million". Wine Spectator. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "Brown-Forman accused of illegal subsidies in China again". Want China Times. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Brown-Forman Involved in Bribery Again in Shanghai". SinoCast. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Woodford Reserve". Woodford Reserve. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Early Times". Early Times. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey". Jackdaniels.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Love Life. Sip Responsibly". Old Forester. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Canadian Mist". Canadian Mist. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Collingwood the toast of the town — new Canadian whiskey creates a buzz on Georgian Bay".
- "KORBEL Champagne Cellars - Welcome". Korbel.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Herradura Tequila, since 1870". Herradura.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Southern Comfort. New Orleans Original". Southerncomfort.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Newsweek, Greenest Big Companies in America – The 2009 List". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- "Newsweek – Green Ranking - Brown-Forman". Retrieved July 21, 2010.