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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
French spirits group Remy Cointreau is in talks to buy Scottish whisky maker Bruichladdich Distillery as it looks to tap booming demand for whisky from emerging markets in Asia.
Remy Cointreau, the maker of Remy Martin cognac, Cointreau Liqueur and Mount Gay Rum, sold its champagne division last year and had since been looking for a premium whisky or brand to add to its portfolio.
Bruichladdich, a distiller of single-malt Scotch whisky based on the Isle of Islay, generates annual sales of around €15m, a Remy Cointreau spokeswoman said yesterday.
She would not provide further financial details but said the small firm had "strong growth potential" and would benefit from Remy’s distribution network, particularly in Asia, where demand for premium whisky is rising.
As drinkers worldwide acquire a growing taste for whisky, spirits giants are all stepping up investment in the sector.
Last month, Diageo, the largest producer of Scotch whisky, said it was investing over £1bn (€1.24bn) in the drink over the next five years. Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-biggest Scotch maker, unveiled a £40m investment in May at its malt distilleries to boost supplies of top sellers like Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal.
Bernstein analysts said they saw "a lot of strategic upside for Remy Cointreau in the deal", citing "instant incremental profit from putting Bruichladdich through Remy Cointreau’s distribution network" and "significant revenue synergies from the extra reach that Remy Cointreau would bring".
The distillery was built in 1881, mothballed by Jim Beam in 1995, and restarted by current management in 2001.
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