Pro-Distributor Bill Signed in NC

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Becoming law without the Governor’s Signature, House Bill 500, among a variety of provisions, authorizes the transfer of a wholesaler business to a family member in situations other than the death of the owner, and adds niece or nephew to the list of family members to whom the business can be transferred. The bill also removes a supplier’s right to match and reassign to a designee the right to purchase an ownership interest in a wholesaler when an interest in a wholesaler business is sold, assigned, or transferred, however, suppliers with a total no more than five percent (5%) of the selling wholesaler’s total annual gross sales of wine and malt beverages in dollars would retain the right. Additionally, the bill prohibits a supplier from acquiring, possessing, or otherwise maintaining an ownership interest in a wholesaler and from coercing a wholesaler to accept delivery of an alcoholic beverage, or other item or service, which has not been specifically ordered or requested by the wholesaler.