Empire Distributors, McLane to Acquire Horizon Wine & Sprits

Largest beverage alcohol products distributor in Tennessee

TEMPLE, Texas -- Empire Distributors Inc. and McLane Co. Inc. have entered into an agreement to acquire Horizon Wine & Spirits Inc., a beverage distributor based in Nashville, Tenn. This acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is McLane's second since entering the regulated beverages distribution industry in April 2010, when it purchased Empire.

(Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage.)

Horizon Wine & Spirits is Tennessee's largest distributor of beverage alcohol products. The business began in 1947 and in the late 1950, it acquired several other wholesalers. With locations in Nashville and Chattanooga and a catalog of more than 11,000 offerings, it is committed to ensuring the safe and responsible distribution of wine and spirits to its licensed customers.

"McLane and Empire are very excited about our agreement to acquire Horizon and enter the Tennessee market," said David Kahn, president of Atlanta-based Empire. "Tommy Bernard has built one of the finest and most highly respected companies in our industry, and we look forward to providing Tommy our full support and resources to continue Horizon's leadership in the market and to position ourselves for further growth in Tennessee and beyond."

Empire was founded in Atlanta in 1940 by Max Kahn as a small family-owned local distributor of spirits and wine. The company grew to service the state of Georgia and entered the North Carolina market through acquisition in the 1980s. Empire is led by the third generation of Kahn family and is a leader in distribution of spirits, wine, beer and nonalcoholics in the markets they serve. Empire employs 800 people and distributes more than10,000 SKUs to more than 8,000 accounts. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of McLane.

McLane is a $30 billion supply-chain services leader, providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for thousands of convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and military locations, as well as thousands of chain restaurants throughout the United States. With 38 distribution centers and one of the nation's largest private fleets, the company optimizes the purchase, flow and sale of products from thousands of suppliers to more than 54,000 locations.

Every year, McLane delivers more than 10 billion pounds of merchandise to customers in every state and county in the United States. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and employs 15,000 teammates globally.