Saturday, May 25, 2013
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A Crown Royal display at the Bow Street Market in Freeport. Maine's top liquor official said Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 that the state will seek a contractor for wholesale liquor operations that will handle administration, distribution and marketing. That contradicts a plan outlined Tuesday by Gov. Paul Le- Page
Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer
Maine Beverage Co., which handles administration, uses a subcontractor, Pine State Trading, to distribute liquor to stores throughout the state.
Maine Beverage Co., owned by Massachusetts-based Martignetti Cos. and the New York private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer, did not respond to requests for comment. The company has said that it would be interested in bidding for the new contract.
Dirigo Spirit Co., formed by the Auburn businessman Ford Reiche, also has expressed interest.
"Dirigo Spirit Company has long been advocating for a revised state liquor contract, one that is more fair to Maine taxpayers, retail and on-premise liquor resellers," Reiche said in a written statement. "A revised contract will generate increased and much needed revenue for the state of Maine that is currently being forfeited under the current contract."
He said, "Dirigo Spirit Company supports a revised contract under which the state would retain the majority of the revenue, while partnering with a Maine-based company to manage logistics and marketing."
In addition to collecting more money from liquor sales, Maine officials hope to lower retail prices to make the state more competitive with New Hampshire. The state also wants to pay higher commissions to agency liquor stores, Reid has said.
Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: