Alert, Jager Moving to SGWS Network, Sparking Major Brands’ Lawsuit

Earlier today Mast Jagermeister allegedly notified its Missouri wholesaler, Major Brands, that it intends to cut ties in order to consolidate its US business with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, effective April 1. In response, Major Brands slapped Mast Jagermeister with a lawsuit just hours later, alleging violation of Missouri franchise law.

As Major Brands tells it, Missouri’s franchise law and its distribution agreement with Jager means the supplier can only terminate their partnership after establishing “good cause,” which it did not.

Major Brands claims the Jagermeister representative who delivered the bad news said the termination had “nothing to do with Major Brands’ performance,” instead was the result of a desire to consolidate operations nationally, per the petition.

“Jagermeister’s attempt to terminate Major Brands as a wholesaler, after Major Brands has built up the sales and Jagermeister brand over decades, without establishing good cause violates Missouri’s Franchise law … and, therefore, any purported termination is null and void,” writes the wholesaler in its petition.

Jagermeister was unable to provide its side of the story by press time.

If this story is giving you a case of deja vu, it’s probably because Major Brands has been down a similar road before. You’ll recall, Major Brands went to court with Diageo and Glazer’s in 2014 when Diageo wanted to transition its business to Glazer’s in Missouri. That case ended up settling out of court resulting in Diageo making a “substantial payment” to Major Brands and completing the move.

We’re not yet sure how similar these two cases are, but we’ll have more as we dig into it.

Until later,
Your Editors

Emily Pennington – emily@winespiritsdaily.com
Sarah Barrett – sarah@winespiritsdaily.com

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