French company in the mix to get controlling stake in Rum Distillery

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--A major rum deal has been announced that will see conglomerate Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) selling its majority interest in The West Indies Rum Distillery Limited (WIRD).
 
However, in a statement Tuesday the company said it would retain control of the COCKSPUR and J&R rum brands, even though it explicitly stated that the spirits industry no longer fits with its business strategy.
 
It was back in 1939 when the Goddards group first purchased interest in WIRD. Back then, the company was known as the West India Rum Refinery Limited. By 1988, Goddards took controlling interest in the rum business, which it has maintained up until now.
 
“The buyer has offered to purchase all the issued and outstanding common shares of all WIRD shareholders at a price of approximately BDS $10.23 [US $5.12 – Ed.] per share,” said GEL without revealing the full value of the deal.
 
However, it announced that United Caribbean Rum Limited (UCRL), a Barbados holding company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie de Bonbonnet SAS, had laid claim to its 92 per cent stake.
 
Bonbonnet is a privately held French holding company which owns a number of subsidiaries including Maison Ferrand. It 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 liqueurs.
 
UCRL has expressed its commitment to the continued employment and professional development of WIRD staff, GEL said.
 
Barbados Today

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