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By Chris Mercer | 10 November 2010

McLane subsidiary buys Tennessee’s biggest distributor Group said to be seeking licenses in all states US drinks distributors could cut $3bn of costs.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is believed to be intent on building a US-wide distribution network for alcoholic drinks, in a move that would increase the pressure on existing players. Buffett’s supply chain business, McLane Co, has acquired Tennessee’s largest alcohol distributor, Horizon Wine & Spirits, for an undisclosed fee. It is McLane’s second acquisition since entering alcoholic drinks distribution with the takeover of Empire Distributors in April this year.

The word in the drinks trade is that Buffett is intent on significantly expanding his beverage distribution presence via McLane, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Buffett’s investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway. If confirmed, Buffett’s move would intensify competition in the sector and could spark a fresh drive for efficiency in US drinks distribution.

Boston Beer Co’s founder, Jim Koch, told a trade conference this week that McLane is believed to be applying for licenses to distribute beer, wine and spirits in all 50 US states.

Read more http://www.just-drinks.com/news/warren-buffetts-mclane-eyes-drinks-distribution-empire_id102375.aspx

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