March 4 2020  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Otis McAllister acquires Chase International and moves into spirits distribution

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Otis McAllister Inc, the leading confectionery specialist in the Americas travel retail channel, is officially expanding into spirits distribution following its purchase of Chase International Inc. The acquisition became official on March 1.

Chase International President and Founder Chase Donaldson, whose spirits and confectionery distribution company has been a hallmark of the travel retail industry in the Americas for decades, is retiring.

Marc Panara, Otis McAllister Inc VP Sales & Operations, said that Otis McAllister is delighted to enter the Americas spirits distribution business.

“This was a strategic play for us that unfolded in two stages over the last 365 days,” he said. “In March of 2019, we started with the distribution of Chase’s chocolate brands and in March this year we will complete the asset purchase by bringing in the spirits business to the fold. We’ve admired Chase Donaldson and his company for the past few decades and are privileged to carry on the business he built into the future.

“The asset purchase of Chase International complements our overall strategy for continued growth while diversifying into another category which we have long sought after. We are delighted to be entering the spirits business, which offers wonderful development opportunities and at the same time increasing our presence in travel retail in the region.”

As part of the purchase, two respected members of the Chase International team are joining Otis McAllister: Nicholas Arena, Sales Director and Maria Lingwall, Logistics and Customer Service Manager.

Arena and Lingwall bring over 15 years of sales and logistics experience in the duty free and travel retail segment and over 35 years’ experience in the spirits and wine category to Otis McAllister's sales and marketing organization.

Arena, who is joining Otis McAllister as Sales Director, said: “The asset purchase of Chase International Inc from Otis McAllister Inc joins two great icons in the global product distribution network. Blending both companies’ expertise within the sales management and marketing of consumer products is a perfect fit. Add in the years of dedication and hard work from Otis McAllister's growing confectionery and tobacco divisions, [and] the newly created Spirits and Wine division complements Otis McAllister's goal to provide premium beverage products to all traveling consumers within the US and Caribbean markets.”

Arena added: “We owe a large portion of our duty free and travel retail knowledge and management skills to Mr Chase Donaldson, who guided us through the years with his unparalleled experience and wisdom. We wish Chase and his wife, Judy, all the best during their upcoming years of retirement.”

Chase Donaldson said he was pleased with the development. “After 22 years with Chase International and over 40 years in business, I‘ve decided to retire to spend more time with my family. Otis McAllister acquired our confection business in early 2019, and I’m now very honored that they have acquired our remaining spirits business.

“Both companies being privately and family owned, share the same values, integrity, professionalism and strong customer and supplier focus. These qualities have been core to the way we both conduct our businesses, and make for a great fit with each other.

“I wish Otis McAllister much success continuing the growth of and taking our spirits business to the next level,” he concluded.

Otis McAllister is a full-service distribution company servicing duty free and duty paid operators in the Americas and the Caribbean. With over 30-plus years of industry expertise, Otis is the exclusive travel retail distributor for leading global confectionery, tobacco, spirits and wine suppliers. It specializes in the global exposure of world-renowned brands in international travel environments including airports, borders stores and cruise ships.

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