Back at the Plantation

This has to be good news. Ferrand makes exquisite premium spirits! It gives Barbados rums a cultured niche in world markets!

OFFICIAL PRESSS RELEASE FROM FERRAND

EMBARGOED UNTIL  – MARCH 10, 2017, 18:00PM  French time 

Maison Ferrand, the award winning Cognac, Gin and Rum producer in the heart of Cognac, France, has acquired the historic West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados which has produced rum continually since the 19th century. Maison Ferrand is the owner of the Plantation rum brand with global distribution in 68 countries. The company produces Pierre Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin at its facility in Cognac, France and the purchase of West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) marks the first distillery acquisition outside of France. The acquisition signifies Maison Ferrand’s long term commitment to the quality production of Plantation rum.

Plantation Rum was first introduced in 2003 with the desire to bring rum to the same quality standards of the best Cognacs. Since then Maison Ferrand has been selecting, aging and blending rum from the best Caribbean distilleries for its award-winning Plantation Rum expressions. Barbados is the historical birthplace of rum making and Barbadian rum has been the backbone of Plantation vintage editions as well as its special blends.

“We are production guys and having our own distillery in the Caribbean has been a dream for many years,” says Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Maison Ferrand. “It is like getting married, we wanted to find a great match, one for life and we have found it in West Indies Rum Distillery and the exceptional rum makers there. The team there is as passionate as we are and we can’t wait to start producing delicious rum together.”

Barbados holds so much rum-making history, as does West Indies Rum Distillery, and Maison Ferrand is committed to working with this ancient distillery as one cohesive team to produce exceptional rum. Maison Ferrand plans to tap back to the early roots of this historic distillery and its very rich heritage. The distillery has some ancient pot stills, one that is possibly the oldest in the Caribbean and has been dormant for almost 100 years. Alexandre Gabriel is committed to bringing these stills back to life, and as he says ‘make them sing again.’ Additionally, The West Indies Rum Distillery aging warehouse is uniquely located right on the sea which imprints the rum with a specific style not found anywhere else.

Gabriel says, “We control the production of our Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin because we own the facilities in Cognac. We love challenging ourselves to make the best there is and it requires total commitment. We wanted the same holistic involvement for our Plantation rum so this investment is the natural course of things for us. We are both excited and humbled by what lies ahead. When signing the purchase of this historical distillery, my thoughts went to Laurie Barnard and Thierry Gardere, two rum icons and friends that we have lost all too soon. They were great inspirations to me.”

In the purchase of the West Indies Rum Distillery, Ferrand will also have access to excellent Jamaican rum as West Indies Rum Distillery is one third owner of National Jamaican Rum Company with Monymusk Distillery and the famed Long Pond Distillery. It is very meaningful for Ferrand as Jamaica is the second source of rum for Plantation. Together, this gives Maison Ferrand and Plantation the tools to go even further in its mission for marrying terroir, passion and time for great spirits.

West Indies Rum Distillery is the preferred rum production partner for other companies and will continue to honor their relationships and contracts with them.

Barbados a la France!

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

 

Another local rum company sold

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com

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)

 

– See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94322/local-rum-company-sold#sthash.2tCo0KdP.dpuf

A Gentleman and a Distiller

Personal circumstances have led me to neglect Rumpundit, but Thierry’s death spurs me back to business and I will do more from now on.

I last met Thierry in New York at the Financial Times “Business of Rum” supplement launch. He was there, not because he was a huge financial player, but because all of us involved respected the quality that Barbancourt represented, not least because of the adversity of conditions in Haiti.

At the conference, I reminded him of what he had told me years before – and he had forgotten. Smiling, he told me in his soft French accent, “Ian, you know, Bacardi are very clevèr.”

“How?” I asked.

“If you look at zeir advertizements, they always want you to drink zeir rum with something else!” he said.

I have to say recent Bacardi products  from Facundo mean it is no longer true but it was a wonderful put down – that could be said of many other mass sale rums!

 

Ian

 

The man behind Haiti’s best-known export, Barbancourt rum, dead at 65

Rum moving up

Remy along with Campari/Appleton taking rum to premium heights.

I
http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/71435/remy-upscale-rum

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
Added 26 August 2015

BARBADOS’ DISTINCTION of being the birthplace of rum is about to be “leveraged” like never before. Fresh from acquiring Mount Gay Rum Refinery and Mount Gay Plantation in St Lucy for a combined $28.7 million, French alcoholic beverage company Remy Cointreau has sanctioned a plan that will see its Barbados subsidiary, Mount Gay Distilleries Limited, giving consumers a taste of the world’s first “luxury” rum in six to seven year’s time.
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It is a key part of a deliberate strategy – fashioned four years ago – to elevate the 312-year-old Mount Gay brand to premium and super premium status, thereby ensuring its survival and growth.
Detailing the strategy in an interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY, Mount Gay Distilleries Limited managing director, Raphael Grisoni, revealed that the company would now be involved in producing its special new rum, which is targetting the high end market, from the field to the bottle.
Mount Gay has contracted the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) to manage Mount Gay Plantation, and is working with the Sugar Cane Breeding Station and a team of “specialist” consultants, including agronomists, to produce its own “high quality” molasses for the “single estate rum”, Grisoni said.
“We made a deal with BAMC, so they are grinding for us and we are collecting the molasses from them, which is segregated, so it is really our molasses coming from our plantation. The rum produced will be something very high end, very expensive, because it will be very scarce and of course the growing super premium rum market is there so it will be beneficial, of course, for Barbados to have such positioning,” he said.
“It’s the early stage. We took over the plantation, we got the first harvest and our molasses. It’s not a common molasses, we have a special quality, so we are extracting less sugar from the cane so we have a better quality molasses, and we started our first distillation last month. So it’s really fresh and the product will go out in six to seven years.
“On the plantation, there is an old plantation house and an old windmill. So slowly we are going to refresh that and make it nice. Today, all of the plantation management is externalised with BAMC but with our guidelines. We are expecting them to manage our plantation by the book, we want an exceptional management and thanks to our consultant agronomist, we set up the standard on which we want the BAMC to operate,” he added.
Grisoni said the expectation was that in the end Mount Gay would have a product “that will deliver because of the quality of the cane, and because of the processes we are going to use will be unique”.
He said there was a market of affluent consumers who were “looking for unique, scarce, small batch products”, and the company was looking to capitalise on this in an international marketplace where no one was currently selling true luxury rum for between US$500 and US$1 000 a bottle, except the occasional special edition.
“It is really something unique and I think this is the way we should go forward. It was also a way to show we believe in the sugar industry. Purchasing a plantation is already a sign that we believe in this industry and we are willing to invest and it’s a significant investment. This is just the beginning. What I know is that overall luxury products are on the rise,” he asserted.
“There are more and more rich people who are demanding exclusive products and we have all the attributes to deliver those luxury products and we need to leverage our heritage. We were born more than 300 years ago in this area in St. Lucy. This is our story and it was logical to build on that and I am totally convinced that there is a consumer for that.
“It’s great but it’s also difficult for us because it’s new. Before, we were really only in the distillation, aging and blending. Now we are becoming farmers, so as you can imagine it’s quite complex. But thanks to God, we have great specialists on the island, we have great agronomists who are, of course, helping us in order to do it properly.”
– See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/71435/remy-upscale-rum#sthash.9Z4qvpPi.dpuf

FT Business of Rum Special Report with my article!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dbc62760-0adf-11e5-98d3-00144feabdc0.html

 

June 26, 2015 6:44 pm
Caribbean rum strategy wants more sip and not mix

Ian Williams

Although rum is a global drink, made across the tropics and drunk in all climate zones, its name shows its deep roots in the English-speaking Caribbean. It first appeared in Barbados in the mid-17th century, as “Rumbullion, alias Kill-Devil . . . made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor”. The pioneering distillers soon discovered that redistilling the first flow made it considerably less hellish.

In a further boost to palatability, the only way to export rum in quantity was in the oak casks that were the shipping containers of the day, and soon drinkers discovered that rum, above all spirits, benefits from ageing in oak.

By the turn of the 17th century Jamaica too had begun to make rum. It soon eclipsed Barbados in production and British West Indies rum dominated the world. To make rum, the colonists used molasses, the byproduct of sugar-refining. That gave the British an economic edge as well as rum expertise since, until the end of the 18th century, French and Spanish monarchs prohibited their colonies from producing any spirits that would rival their domestic industries.

Rum was appreciated in the heart of the empire as well. In 2011 an inventory of Earl Harewood’s cellars in England discovered bottles of Barbadian rum laid down in 1780. Once the encrusted cobwebs were polished off, Christie’s sold a dozen of the bottles for £78,255 in January 2014. It followed with 16 further bottles, raising another £135,713 last December. That gave bottles of aged dark rum a premium price of £11,162 each. It was a telling reminder that the fortunes of much of Britain’s landed gentry were in Caribbean plantations, sugar and rum — not to mention slavery.

The Royal Navy’s adoption of rum, usually Caribbean, as its restorative of choice certainly helped bulk sales, but a government-guaranteed market of millions of gallons of what one could call a “robust” rum might not have spurred premium quality. Although the Pussers brand, based on the Navy’s official formula, attracts devoted customers today it is open to debate whether the tradition or the liquor is the greatest attraction.

Even before the Harewood sale Anglo-Caribbean rum makers were rediscovering that premium, aged rums have a growing market that adds value for consumer and distiller alike. But brand-building is an expensive business, even more so with premium spirits that need decades of lead time to build and age stocks. Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets. Nor is it enough to have a quality product, since makers have to tell discerning drinkers about it and supply the product in quantities that deliver economies of scale in a crowded market place.

Frank Ward of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association was prominent in the “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque campaign, funded by EU “reparations” for ending trade preferences that had protected the Caribbean against Latin American competition. He notes that, with a few exceptions, the English-speaking Caribbean has concentrated on bulk rum production, selling their products to be bottled and branded by others. This surrenders the high, value-added ground to the bottlers.

The premium share of the market is expanding rapidly as drinkers treat aged rums as sipping spirits rather than as mixers for cocktails. Both Appleton Estate and Mount Gay, the market leaders in the region, have responded to this and adopted a similar strategy — maintaining high-prestige “flagship” rums and concentrating on premium blends of consistent age and quality and to some extent cutting adrift the local markets’ favourite cheaper brands. Significantly, Campari had taken over Appleton and Rémy Cointreau Mount Gay, so both had become part of large global companies with the resources to invest in production and marketing and the courage to risk upsetting local island consumers and build exports.
“Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets”Tweet this quote

It appears that smaller brands, such as El Dorado or Angostura, will have to risk losing some of their local character. Deals with, and access to, the marketing resources of the leading spirits producers may well be what is required to make an impression on a waiting world.

Mr Ward believes the EU Caribbean rum programme did help smaller brands obtain more exposure. But he adds: “It takes years to build a brand of rum and the first programme [which] only ran 18 months helped some suppliers to diversify, but it has a long way to go”.

The smaller, yet distinguished brands from Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent have appreciative consumers but find it difficult to secure distribution, particularly in the US liquor market whose structure is a hangover from Prohibition. If these brands cannot fill a container, they are at an immediate disadvantage. The “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque did help publicise these smaller entrants, but Mr Ward says the campaign benefited all rums worldwide.

Nonetheless, the investment in premium brand-building by companies such as Rémy Cointreau and Campari is raising the prestige of the whole rum category, something that is sure to continue.

Barbancourt 150!

When pushed to choose, I usually call Barbancourt 15 my favorite!

Rumpundit

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt Celebrates 150 Years With Special Edition

December 24, 2012 | 2:10 pm | Print

Above: the Cuvee 150 Ans

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt is launching a new special edition to mark the company’s 150th anniversary, the company announced.

Barbancourt’s Cuvee 150 Ans is a special blend in an art deco bottle developed in partnership with international designer Mickael Kramer.

Each crystal bottle will have its own unique number and a sandblasted Rhum Barbancourt anniversary logo.

While it will initially be available only in Haiti, the company said it would soon be expanding its availability to the United States and Canada.

Barbancourt has been produced continuously since 1862 (coincidentally, the same year that Don Facundo Bacardi started operations in Cuba), with the exception of a period following Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.

Rum Rebellion?

Rumpundit from the beginning of this saga has maintained that the Caricom countries have a great case for the WTO. Interesting point for the future… does the Puerto Rico statehood vote affect the subsidy down the line?

Rumpundit
Rum, rivalry, resistance

Sir Ronald Sanders

23 December 2012

THE Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade ministers issued a statement on December 11 stating that “Caricom countries continue to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States market resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories”.

After seven months of writing about this matter, I welcome this statement from the trade ministers underlying that “rum production and export are critical to the social and economic well-being of the region”.

Much valuable time has been lost and much has to be done quickly if the rum industry of the CARIFORUM countries is not to be displaced in the US market. CARIFORUM consists of the 14 independent Caricom countries and the Dominican Republic.

In previous commentaries I drew attention to the adverse effects on CARIFORUM countries if the USVI and Puerto Rico governments continue to provide massive subsidies to rum companies in their territories — derived from a tax refund from the US Federal Government called a “cover-over” tax. To recap, CARIFORUM countries stand to lose US$700 million in foreign exchange annually, the jobs of 15,000 workers directly employed in the rum industry, and another 60,000 jobs that benefit from it. Governments will lose over US$250 million in annual tax revenues.

I have also pointed out that bulk rum producers in some Caricom states have already lost contracts in the US market valued at millions of dollars because of the cheaper prices of the heavily subsidised USVI rum producers.

This situation will get far worse as these heavily subsidised companies increase production.

Because I had also pointed out that the CARIFORUM country that would be the biggest loser is Barbados, it is encouraging to see Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart stating in Parliament on December 18 that, “We cannot rule out the prospect of this matter reaching the WTO”, although he added, “but that is not the first-resort expedience”. Rum exports to the US market in 2010 were worth US$17.2 m to Barbados — twice as much as its exports to the European Union market.

Delay in taking firm action is not in the interest of CARIFORUM countries. The longer they wait to stop these subsidies, the more unfairly entrenched the subsidised companies in the USVI and Puerto Rico will become in the US market.

Diplomatic efforts have been made consistently during the past few months and, by all accounts, the Barbadian ambassador to the US, John Beale, has been particularly active. But these efforts have produced no meaningful results. A letter written on August 24 to US President Barack Obama by St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, as chairman of Caricom, has remained unanswered, and a previous letter on August 9, sent by CARIFORUM ambassadors in Washington to the US trade Representative, Ron Kirk, received a non-committal reply in October.

This led Caricom trade ministers, at their December meeting, to call on the US Government “to engage early with Caribbean rum-producing countries with a view to achieving an outcome that will support the continued competitive access for Caribbean rum to the US market”.

Frankly, there is not much chance of the US Government responding to that call, anymore than anyone should expect — as has been suggested — US Attorney-General Eric Holder to be helpful because “his parents were born in Barbados”.

The US Government did not pick this fight. Neither did the CARIFORUM countries. The local governments of the USVI and Puerto Rico have created the situation. Unfortunately for the US Federal Government, it has responsibility for the actions of its territories under international law and treaties. So, inasmuch as neither the US Government nor the CARIFORUM governments like it, they have a dispute on their hands, and it cannot be solved by diplomatic consultations alone. In the US, this is not a matter for the Government only; Congress also has a hand in it. And little or nothing will be done without compulsion.

The only compulsion is what some CARIFORUM governments appear reluctant to invoke, and that is to take the matter to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

CARIFORUM governments have received at least three expert legal opinions that WTO rules have been violated by the actions of the USVI and Puerto Rico governments, and they have an eminently winnable case against the US at the WTO. There should be no stopping them now.

Throughout its history, rum producers from Caricom countries have faced unfair rivalry. They have been compelled to resist, as recorded in the excellent account, Rum, Rivalry and Resistance by Tony Talburt, published by Hansib in 2010.

Resistance continues to be necessary to safeguard this spirit which is so deeply intertwined with our Caribbean civilisation. The Government of the Dominican Republic has shown its readiness to proceed to the WTO; indications are that Barbados may now be willing to join. All of the governments of the CARIFORUM countries have a duty of care to their people; they will be doing no more than fulfilling that duty by going to the WTO. At the very least, the governments of Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago should throw their weight behind the Dominican Republic and Barbados.

Those CARIFORUM countries that do not join resistance at the WTO will not only show no spirit, they will also be entitled to no benefits that may be awarded. And, if none of them do anything other than engage in the delaying exercise of diplomatic consultations with the US, more than the spirituous Caribbean rum will die; the Caribbean spirit of resistance will die too.

The US Trade Representative’s Office is expert at prolonging “consultations” and delaying WTO arbitration. But time is not on the side of CARIFORUM rums, as trade ministers agreed.

Sir Ronald Sanders is a consultant and visiting fellow, London University

Responses and previous commentaries: www.sirronaldsanders.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rum–rivalry–resistance_13259063#ixzz2GLDKh0VE

Dancing on the Cap’n’s Grave?

As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico Hopes to Keep the Rum Business Lucrative With New Distillery

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Published at 1:15 pm, July 8, 2011
Image

Photo Credits: As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico is Hoping to Keep the Rum Business Going With New Distillery

Near San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former pharmaceutical plant is being transformed into a rum distillery in hopes of helping the economy recover from the loss of Captain Morgan rum.

The new distillery is being developed by Club Caribe Distillers LLC, a local bottler of Coca-Cola, and agreements to produce rum in bulk for third parties has already been made. However, the company is also looking to break into the U.S. market with new products: a white rum called Club Caribe, a spiced rum called Black Roberts, and Ron Carlos, a dark rum.

“We see a great opportunity to increase the demand for local rum in the United States,” said Alberto Rivera, senior vice president and principal finance officer for Club Caribe.

When at full capacity, the plant should be able to produce 10 millions gallons of rum per year, though as part of the 20-year deal, only 2 million gallons of rum will be produced in the plant’s first year. It is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.

Club Caribe is expected to employ 25 people and invest $10 million in machinery and equipment in the former GlaxoSmithKline building. In the first year, it is believed the plant’s production will eventually generate $20 million in revenue for the island.

As Captain Morgan leaves the island, the U.S. commonwealth is expected to lose $140 million in. The rum producer is moving “next door”, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The rum industry has created 4,500 direct and indirect jobs. It also provides the government with around $400 million annually in rum rebate revenue.

The new distillery is located in the mountain town of Cidra, Puerto Rico.

Pirate Ambush?

A cunning piratical ambush – while Bacardi grapples alongside Havana Club.. Cap’n Morgan swoops in and gets the gold..Rumpundit

Diageo aims to take on Bacardi

  • By Robyn Black
  • 14/04/2011 09:14

Diageo has announced its intention to take on Bacardi to become the number one rum company in the world by 2015.

Captain Morgan: kick-starting Diageo push to become number one rum company 

The owner of rum brands Captain Morgan, Bundaberg and Pampero currently has a 17% share of the UK rum market and sees further growth coming from golden and dark rum and golden rum-based spirits.

To kick-start the push, the company has earmarked £7m for its Morgan’s Spiced brand, renaming it Captain Morgan’s Spiced and investing in a TV campaign and on-trade push.

“Consumers may already be aware of the Captain Morgan brand from the dark rum currently available in the UK market,” said marketing manager Ali Wilkes.

“The addition of the Captain figurehead to the title and the label of Morgan’s Spiced will create synergy across the two brands and also give Morgan’s Spiced an identifiable personality.”

The campaign will be aimed at 18 to 24-year-old male drinkers and focus on the “Captain and cola” serve, which is already the number two bar call in the US, according to Diageo.

As well as the planned TV campaign, set for this autumn, the company is joining forces with the NUS, Luminar and other pub companies to host 3,000 party nights, due to be held between this June and June of next year.

Sampling, PoS kits and visits from the Captain and his “Morganettes” will create buzz and excitement around the brand, said Wilkes.

Cubans sell 4 million cases! And nary a drop in the US

 

Havana, April 12 (IANS) Cuba expects to sell four million cases of its flagship rum Havana Club in 2011, despite a US decision not to renew its marketing license in the country, president of the state-owned Cuban Rum Corporation said here.

‘The Cuban industrial capability is at a very high level,’ president of the Cuban Rum Corporation Juan Gonzalez said, adding they expected rum exports would reach more than $100 million in 2011.

Arian Remedios, legal advisor of Havana Club International, said the company sold 3.8 million cases of rum in 2010, a growth of 14 percent over the previous year, reported Xinhua.

A US federal appeal court in Washington decided last week not to renew the marketing licence of the Cuban brand in the US, which was acquired by Cuba in 1976, due to the embargo against the island which has been in effect since 1962.

However, the Cuban government said the sentence favoured the US Bacardi Rum group.

The French group Pernod-Ricard and the Cuban Rum Corporation, which formed the joint venture Havana Club International, have been fighting with the Bacardi group since 1994 for the license of selling the Havana Club brand in the US market.