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Brown-Forman Corporation
Traded as Class A NYSEBF.A
S&P 500 Component (BF.B)
Industry Distilled beverage
Founded 1870
Headquarters Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Key people
Paul C. Varga, Chairman & CEO
Revenue Increase US$ 3.614 billion (FY 2012)[1]
Decrease US$ 788 million (FY 2012)[1]
Increase US$ 513 million (FY 2012)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$ 3.477 billion (FY 2012)[1]
Total equity Increase US$ 2.069 billion (FY 2012)[1]
Number of employees
3,900 (2011)

The Brown-Forman Corporation is one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business.[citation needed] Based in Louisville, Kentucky, it manufactures several well known brands throughout the world, including Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Finlandia, Herradura, Korbel, and Chambord. Brown-Forman formerly owned Southern Comfort and Tuaca before selling them off in 2016.

As of fiscal 2012 the company had sales of $3.6 billion.[1] The Brown family controls more than 70% of the voting shares.[citation needed]


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.

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.[citation needed]

Part of the company's Louisville complex

In 2006, the company acquired the Chambord liqueur brand (a super-premium black raspberry liqueur produced in France) for $US 255 million.[2][3]

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,[4] 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.[citation needed]

In 2011, the company sold Fetzer Vineyards and associated brands to the Chilean wine producer Viña Concha y Toro S.A. for $US 238 million.[5]

In 2013, the company joined leading alcohol producers as part of a producers' commitments to reducing harmful drinking.

In 2016, the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands were sold to Sazerac Company for $543 Million.[6]

In 2016, Brown-Forman also reached an agreement to purchase The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited for approximately £285 million. The purchase brought GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh to Brown-Forman's portfolio.[7]

Stock information[edit]

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.

China bribery accusations[edit]

In 2011, Brown-Forman was accused of illegally subsidizing its distributors in China, and subsequently delaying payment to them as agreed under contract.[8] The Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce fined Brown-Forman 2 million renminbi (US$320,000) for illegal subsidization.[9]

Environmental track record[edit]

In 2009, Newsweek magazine ranked Brown-Forman in their "Green Rankings"[10] 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.[11]







See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Brown-Forman, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Jun 27, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ Brown-Forman Adds Chambord to Liquor Cabinet, New York Times Dealbook, March 16, 2006.
  3. ^ Brown-Forman Completes Chambord Acquisition, press release, June 1, 2006.
  4. ^ Chris Mercer (2007-11-29). "US: Casa Herradura helps offset costs for Brown-Forman Q2: Beverage News & Comment". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  5. ^ "Concha y Toro Buying Fetzer for $238 Million". Wine Spectator. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Brown-Forman to Acquire the Glendronach, Benriach, AND Glenglassaugh Single Malt Scotch Whiskies". Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Brown-Forman accused of illegal subsidies in China again". Want China Times. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Brown-Forman Involved in Bribery Again in Shanghai". SinoCast. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Newsweek, Greenest Big Companies in America – The 2009 List". Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Newsweek – Green Ranking - Brown-Forman". Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Woodford Reserve". Woodford Reserve. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  13. ^ "Early Times". Early Times. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  14. ^ "Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  15. ^ "Love Life. Sip Responsibly". Old Forester. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Mist". Canadian Mist. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  17. ^ "Collingwood the toast of the town — new Canadian whiskey creates a buzz on Georgian Bay". 
  18. ^ "KORBEL Champagne Cellars - Welcome". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  19. ^ "Herradura Tequila, since 1870". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  20. ^ "Southern Comfort. New Orleans Original". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 

External links[edit]