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Rémy Cointreau concludes £58m purchase

Rémy Cointreau UK Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rémy Cointreau Group has agreed to acquire Bruichladdich Distillery Company Limited, the Islay single malt Scotch whisky distiller.

The transaction marks the group’s first move into the premium single malt Scotch whisky market, a category experiencing strong growth all over the world, especially in the very high-end segment. This deal sustains Rémy Cointreau’s long term value strategy, geared to investing into international premium spirits with strong “savoir-faire”.

Bruichladdich, the progressive Hebridean distiller, was purchased in December 2000 by Mark Reynier and a group of private investors who resurrected the Victorian distillery developing it in to an exciting brand with worldwide acclaim.
Total transaction value amounts to £58m, comprising of £48m for the acquisition of the entire share capital of Bruichladdich and estimated debt of £10m that Rémy Cointreau will assume.

Jean-Marie Laborde, Rémy Cointreau CEO said: “The acquisition of Bruichladdich, a renowned Islay single malt with a rich and exciting heritage, is a great opportunity to enrich our high-end portfolio of brands and to confirm our strategy in the spirits luxury segment. We expect Bruichladdich to sit proudly alongside our other brands and we look forward to working closely with Bruichladdich’s experienced and passionate management team”.

Sir John Mactaggart, chairman of Bruichladdich commented on the Bruichladdich website blog: “It has been an exciting and demanding eleven and a half years breathing life back into Bruichladdich. The sale of the company clearly induces several mixed emotions, which I am sure will be widely shared. But one needs to remember that we succeeded in saving, building and establishing - once and for all - the worldwide renown of Bruichladdich.

“Rémy Cointreau's offer fully recognises the value of the Bruichladdich brand we have created, its potential, the quality and reputation of the whisky stocks we have layed down. From non existent sales and a derelict distillery in 2001, to over 55,000 cases and a thriving company in 2011, and “Bruichladdich is on course to double in the next couple of years.

As with any business expanding at such a rapid rate, there comes a time when further substantial capital investment will be required to support long-term growth, and this cannot easily be generated by the business itself, or without significant extra shareholder funds.

I”t is of great comfort that Rémy Cointreau truly appreciate the very special nature of Bruichladdich - the place, the brand, the spirit and our people. I am particularly pleased Rémy Cointreau will be retaining the existing staff and will continue to keep Bruichladdich as an Islay-based business.

“Although they are a quoted company, Rémy Cointreau are still a family- controlled business, founded nearly 300 years ago. Under the dynamic leadership of CEO Jean Marie Laborde, Rémy have made impressive progress: perfection, quality and authenticity are an integral part of their core business philosophy - something which we share. I have no doubt that they will prove to be safe custodians of the Bruichladdich brand."

Completion of the transaction is expected to occur within 6 weeks.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Rémy Cointreau, and Dundas & Wilson CS LLP acted as legal advisor. Moelis & Company acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bruichladdich, and Burness LLP acted as legal advisor.

1 July 2012 - Felicity Murray