Jack Daniel’s maker to offer early retirement to 150 employees

The parent company of Jack Daniel’s whiskey has offered roughly 150 employees buyout packages to retire early in a bid to cut costs and clear space for internal promotions, according to a report Wednesday.

If all of the offers are accepted, more than 10% of Brown-Forman employees could exit the company, USA Today reported. It is unclear how much salary would be cleared in the process, though the employees who qualified are earning six-figure salaries.

In a memo to the qualifying employees, Brown-Forman said the early retirement offers were meant to cut operating costs while also rewarding longtime employees for their contributions to the company. The cuts would represent Brown-Forman’s biggest workforce reduction since the 2009 recession.

Brown-Forman said in its earnings report Wednesday that its net sales increased 6% to $733 million in its fourth fiscal quarter, though earnings per share declined due in part to the creation of a new charitable organization. Sales at its Jack Daniel’s division rose 6%, driven by the success of its Tennessee Whiskey division.

"Our results demonstrated an excellent balance across both geography and portfolio, while being driven once again by the Jack Daniel's trademark and our premium American whiskey portfolio," Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga said in a statement.

Brown-Forman shares fell nearly 6% in trading.