Barbados a la France!

Good to see the French appreciating what they sometimes snootily call “Industrial Rum,” rhum industriel!


Another local rum company sold


FRENCH INTERESTS are acquiring another of Barbados’ historic rum companies in a deal worth at least $25.7 million.

In 1989 French alcoholic beverage company Remy Cointreau bought Mount Gay Rum Distilleries Limited, which was established in 1703.

Today, Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) is notifying shareholders in its 124 year old subsidiary The West Indies Rum Distillery Limited (WIRD) that it is selling its 2 519 171 issued and outstanding common shares (92 per cent) in WIRD to United Caribbean Rum Limited (UCRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of French spirits company Compagnie de Bonbonnet SAS.

The deal does not end there, however, as UCRL wants full control of WIRD. It is therefore offering people who own the remaining eight per cent of its stock more than $10.2 per share for their piece of the company which produces brands including Cockspur Rum.

While the agreement between GEL and UCRL was signed last December 21, WIRD chairman Anthony Ali, officially gave shareholders details of the deal in notices published today.

“…Goddard Enterprises Limited…has taken a decision to divest itself of its interest in the company….The sale is scheduled to be completed pursuant to a public takeover bid by UCRL…to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of WIRD and is scheduled to be closed no later than six trading days on the Barbados Stock Exchange after the commencement of the public takeover bid by UCRL,” Ali said.

“The closing of the public takeover bid is scheduled to occur on or around April 4….Bonbonnet has extensive experience and expertise in the spirits business and has been involved in the production and sale of fine spirits (such as Cognac, gin, vodka, rum and other distilled spirits) and fruit liquers for many years.”

In a separate notice, UCRL told shareholders “full details of the offer will be mailed out [today] to all shareholders and have been prepared within the framework of the pertinent legislation and the rules of the Financial Services Commission and the [Barbados Stock Exchange].

“The offer is dependent on acquisition of at least 92 per cent of all outstanding shares of [WIRD]. However, the offering is seeking to purchase all outstanding shares.

Compagnie de Bonbonnet and its subsidiaries are said to have aggregate annual sales of approximately US$44.5 million.

WIRD, which is located at Brighton, Black Rock St. Michael, has operations that include a distillery, an aging and distribution warehouse and a bottling plant. The distillery has a production capacity of approximately 15 million litres of pure alcohol a year and is capable of warehousing 1.5 million litres of bulk storage in stainless steel tanks and 20 000 American White Oak barrels of 200 litres each.

The company also said it had a bottling capacity of 100 000 cases per year. (SC)


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