DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beam Inc. officials said Monday they have agreed to buy the Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands, along with other related assets, for $605 million in cash, from White Rock Distilleries of Lewiston.

Officials from Beam, which makes Jim Beam bourbon, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila, said the addition of Pinnacle will boost its presence in the large and growing vodka category and increase the company’s overall shareholder value.

Contacted Monday morning, a spokeswoman for White Rock CEO Paul Coulombe said he would have no comment on the sale and that more details would follow.

Pinnacle’s 2012 sales volumes are expected to exceed 3 million 9-liter cases and it is one of the largest imported vodka brands in the United States. It makes both unflavored and flavored variations, including a line of whipped-dessert-flavored vodkas, Beam said.

Beam said it doesn’t expect the acquisition to affect its 2012 earnings, but said it will boost its 2013 results by between 5 cents and 10 cents per share in 2013 and more in the next year and beyond. The company said it also expects the deal to result in cost savings that should exceed 20 percent of the brand’s sales.

White Rock Distilleries is a family business with more than a dozen alcohol brands listed on its Website. In 2007, it sold the popular Three Olives Vodka to Proximo Spirits for an undisclosed amount.

In 2010, when it won the city of Lewiston’s Economic Achievement Award, the company employed 185 people in Lewiston and Pinnacle Vodka was its top-selling spirit.

White Rock Distilleries officials met with the city last week for a staff review of a planned parking lot expansion that would allow trucks to move around more easily at the Lewiston Industrial Park site, according to Lincoln Jeffers, the city’s economic and community development director.


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