20/07/2011 - Pernod Ricard USA Celebrates the Pernod Ricard and Tequila Avión™ Global Partnership

Ultrapremium Tequila Joins Pernod Ricard USA's Prestigious Portfolio

Purchase, N.Y. (July 20, 2011) – Pernod Ricard USA celebrates the announcement released today by Pernod Ricard regarding the agreement granting the company exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the ultrapremium tequila Avión™, as well as a minority interest in the growing brand.

Paul Duffy, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard USA, said the agreement "is strategically important, and an excellent complement to Pernod Ricard USA's leading portfolio of premium brands. We see great opportunity in the ultrapremium segment of the tequila category, and great potential for Avión™ to lead the way.” He added: "Roughly one year after its introduction, the brand already has created unprecedented and impressive levels of awareness and velocity in the USA, the world's leading tequila market. That's because Avión™ has established itself as a true lifestyle brand, with rising popularity among tastemakers and connoisseurs. We are anxious to leverage the entrepreneurial spirit, passionate devotion to excellence and creativity behind Avión™, and look forward to working with Tequila Avión™ Founder and Chairman Ken Austin, Jenna Fagnan, President, and their team to build Avión into the next iconic spirits brand.”

Ken Austin commented, "Pernod Ricard was the ideal choice for three reasons: its global reach, its global premium portfolio and its exemplary management team and professional organization. Pernod Ricard USA brings a powerful route to market, and a strong track record of building premium spirit brands. Together, we will capture a meaningful share of the ultra-premium tequila category. This partnership is a validation and a testament to our highly entrepreneurial and disruptive marketing strategy, along with the brand being embraced and praised on multiple levels by bartenders, the mixology community, retailers and consumers.”

Currently sold in 23 U.S. states and Ontario, Canada, Tequila Avión™ has enjoyed exponential growth over its first year, and sales continue to accelerate. In the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Tequila Avión Silver was awarded Double Gold, Avión Añejo a Gold medal and Avión Reposado a Bronze medal.

About Tequila Avión™
Tequila Avión™ is a company created in 2009 by Ken Austin and Kenny Dichter.

Tequila Avión™ is the ultrapremium tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste - "Taste Elevated." Produced with fifth generation agave growers from the finest Blue Weber agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco, Mexico, Tequila Avión™'s distinct flavors are achieved through a combination of slowroasting at lower temperatures to protect the natural flavors of the agave and an ultra-slow filtration process which creates an unusually smooth taste profile. Tequila Avión™ is available in Silver, Reposado and Añejo varietals. Recently, Tequila Avión™ was awarded three medals including Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. To learn more please visit www.TequilaAvion.com, our Facebook page: Tequila Avión, and our Twitter account @TequilaAvion.

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).

The company's leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu® flavored rum, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram's Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila (through a joint venture with Tequila Avión); such superior wines as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines. Pernod Ricard USA is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.