GEL to sell shares in rum distillery
GODDARD ENTERPRISES LIMITED (GEL) has agreed to sell its shares in The West Indies Rum Distillery Limited (WIRD). The transaction should be soon finalised subject to the parties to the transaction satisfying all applicable regulatory requirements.
GEL is the largest shareholder of WIRD with a shareholding of 92 per cent of the issued and outstanding common shares. The buyer has offered to purchase all the issued and outstanding common shares of all WIRD shareholders at a price of approximately $10.23 per share.
The purchaser, United Caribbean Rum Limited (UCRL), is a Barbados holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie de Bonbonnet SAS (Bonbonnet), a privately held French holding company which owns a number of subsidiaries including Maison Ferrand.
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 liqueurs for many years.
GEL has been investigating several options for the future of WIRD as the spirits industry no longer fits with GEL’s business strategy.
It was during this process that GEL identified what they consider to be the ideal purchaser for WIRD who, with their strong and wide international connections in the market place, can upgrade the quality and presence of Barbadian rum globally to the benefit of WIRD and to Barbados as a whole. UCRL has stated its commitment to the continued employment and professional development of WIRD staff.
GEL purchased its first interest in WIRD, then known as the West India Rum Refinery Limited, in 1939 and secured controlling interest in 1988. WIRD has produced rum for some notable rum brands over the years. The COCKSPUR and J&R rum brands are not a part of the sale and hence will remain the property of GEL. (PR)