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Rémy Acquires Rising Bruichladdich Single Malt For $90M

July 23, 2012

Two weeks after entering exclusive talks with the owners of Bruichladdich, Rémy Cointreau has agreed to acquire the Islay single malt Scotch whisky brand for £58 million ($89.9m). The price includes £48 million ($74.4m) for Bruichladdich’s entire share capital and an additional £10 million ($15.5m) of debt that Rémy Cointreau will assume. Analysts had predicted that the single malt brand would sell for around £43 million ($66.7m). The deal is expected to close within 6 weeks.

The Bruichladdich acquisition marks Rémy’s entry into Scotch whisky brand ownership. While the company’s American arm, Rémy Cointreau USA, already markets Edrington Group’s Macallan and Highland Park single malts, the addition of Bruichladdich should give Rémy a boost in Asian markets like China, where Scotch and Cognac vie for leadership of the fast-rising imported spirits category. Rémy is already well-positioned in Cognac with Rémy Martin, the world’s second-leading Cognac brand and one of the top-selling imported spirits brands in China.

Bruichladdich, which has annual sales of around €15 million ($18.5m), is currently owned by a group of investors including managing director Mark Reynier, who purchased it from Beam in 2000 for £6.5 million ($8m). Reynier recently told Scotland’s The Herald newspaper that the U.S., France, Germany and Scandinavia have been strong areas of growth for the company of late.

With U.S. sales of only around 4,000 cases in 2011, Bruichladdich is currently quite small in the market, but that’s been attributed largely to supply constraints. The brand’s sales rose by 33% in the U.S. last year, and with the category’s positive trends in the U.S.—including mid-single-digit growth over the past few years—and the backing of Rémy, Bruichladdich appears to have plenty of upside.

 

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