Sidney Frank sold Grey Goose vodka for $2 billion


Forbes – 10/11/2004

Just about every morning Sidney Frank, the 84-year-old liquor baron, climbs into his $400,000 Mercedes Maybach and is driven to one of four golf courses in upstate New York. He's not there to play the game; he's too frail to swing a club. Instead, at the wheel of a golf cart he leads a team of aspiring pros across an exclusive course where he plays vicariously.

In June he sold Grey Goose vodka for a jaw-dropping $2 billion to Bacardi Ltd. The sale is the largest in liquor-business history for a single brand.

His new line of Italian wines, sold under the label "Sidney Frank Selection," will encounter a market saturated with thousands of labels. Frank plans to undercut the competition by offering $10 bottles in stores where the average Italian bottle sells for $25.

On the opposite end of the beverage business, Frank is trying his hand at the $1.1 billion U.S. energy drink market.

Michel Dyens