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Wirtz Beverage gives way to Breakthru

The Wirtz Beverage Group name is being replaced by Breakthru Beverage Group, a result of the merger of Wirtz Beverage and Charmer Sunbelt.

The merged company, based in New York, will distribute wine, spirits and beer in 19 markets and expects annual sales of more than $6 billion. The merger was completed Jan. 1.

Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz and Charles Merinoff will lead Breakthru as co-chairmen. Daniel Wirtz will serve as vice chairman.

“The name Breakthru was chosen very deliberately,” Daniel Wirtz said in a news release. “We truly believe we can challenge the boundaries of the traditional distributor and bring a focused and insightful approach to how we do business.”

Wirtz Beverage and Charmer Sunbelt agreed in October to combine operations.

Wirtz Beverage Canada and Alliance Beverage in Alabama, Arizona and Mississippi will keep their names.

Rocky Wirtz is an investor in Wrapports LLC, the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times.