Carey O’Donnell PR Group
(561) 832-3231

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 20, 2006) — Michael Mitrione, a corporate attorney and shareholder of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A., represented West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Cruzan International, Inc. and its parent company, V&S of Sweden, in the sale of Florida Distillers to Belvedere, a French spirits group. The transaction was signed and executed in early February in Paris, France and the amount was not disclosed.

The sale of Florida Distillers, a contract bottler and manufacturer of bulk and branded beverage alcohol products, foods and ingredients with four facilities in Florida and Kentucky, enables V&S to focus on its core business – the manufacturing and marketing of branded spirits. V&S originally acquired Florida Distillers in 2005 as part of the larger acquisition of Cruzan International, Inc., which Gunster Yoakley also handled. This transaction also helps Belvedere, a well-known European brand, establish a strong presence in the U.S. as a recognized distributor of wine and spirits.

“This is a significant transaction that will undoubtedly have an international impact on the wine and spirits industry,” said Mitrione. “Our team of attorneys succeeded in making the transaction as seamless as possible for all parties, despite the distance across two continents and several time zones.”

Gunster Yoakley’s legal team on this project included corporate attorney Nicholas Robbins; real estate attorneys Cindy Spall and Bob Graham; and environmental attorney Rob Malinoski.

About Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart

The West Palm Beach office of Gunster Yoakley is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest full-service law firm. The firm, established in 1925, offers a broad range of legal services to its impressive client base of businesses, institutions, local governments and prominent individuals. Gunster Yoakley has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Vero Beach and West Palm Beach. Gunster Yoakley is home to 130 attorneys and more than 200 dedicated support staff providing counsel to clients through numerous practice groups including corporate, litigation, real estate and trusts and estates. For more information, visit, or call (800) 749-1980.


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