Cooley and owner face $100m US lawsuit
Cooley Distillery and its US owner are facing a $100 million breach of contract lawsuit in the US.
It emerged yesterday that Beam Incorporated, Cooley’s US parent, and the Irish company itself are being sued by New York-state based Sidney Frank Importing Co (SFIC).
The company has filed a claim – reported to be for $100 million – in a New York court alleging Beam and Cooley broke an agreement to supply it with Michael Collins Irish Whiskey.
“Cooley unilaterally and wholly without justification abandoned its supply contract with SFIC,” the importer said in its complaint.
“Beam orchestrated this move in order to monopolise Cooley’s production capacity for the benefit of its Kilbeggan brand, which Beam is aggressively promoting in the United States where Michael Collins had been ascending rapidly.”
Sydney Frank argues that Beam’s strategy has been to promote Kilbeggan as strongly as possible to challenge Jameson’s position in the US.
It is claiming damages for breach of contract, unfair competition and a number of other wrongs.
Beam did not comment yesterday but it is understood that the company and its Irish subsidiary intend to defend the case fully.