Bruichladdich Distillery Sold to Remy Cointreau

Bruichladdich Distillery, the progressive and Independent Hebridean distiller, announced today that an agreement has been reached for Remy Cointreau to purchase the entire share capital of Bruichladdich distillery Ltd, the completion of the transaction is expected to occur within 6 weeks and 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, Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Cointreau 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 declared: “This is an excellent transaction for Bruichladdich, the Islay community and a wonderful opportunity for the company to reach its full potential, under the stewardship of Rémy Cointreau with their strong distribution network and their experienced brand development. I'm confident that Bruichladdich will establish itself as one of the Scotch whisky industry's best known and acclaimed premium brands.”

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Bruichladdich into Talks with Remy Cointreau

This evening Bruichladdich Distillery announced the following news on their Facebook Page: "As many of you will be aware, the Rémy Cointreau Group today issued the following statement in accordance with the rules of the French bourse: "Regulatory News: The Rémy Cointreau Group (Paris:RCO) announces that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with the shareholders of the Bruichladdich Distillery Company Ltd with a view to possibly acquiring its entire share capital. "Founded in 1881, Bruichladdich is a renowned distiller of Premium Single Malt Scotch Whisky based on the Isle of Islay in Scotland, and is recognized by experts throughout the world for its high quality products. "In the event of a favorable outcome of negotiations, the signing of an agreement will remain subject to information and authorization procedures in accordance with current regulations." You will appreciate that, due to the regulations governing these situations, it is impossible for us to elaborate. We will of course make further details available just as soon as we are able to do so.

Update Today the Scotsman reports about the possible deal on their website from which I have quoted the following:

Alan Gray, the respected whisky analyst at Edinburgh-based stockbroking firm Sutherlands, said: “From Rémy's point of view, it makes sense because they want to expand into whisky. “Mark was very much the brainchild behind Bruichladdich; he and Simon Coughlin got it off the ground, along with Jim McEwan. “It's been a success story and, if the deal comes to pass, there's no doubt the investors will have done very well out of it, whatever price they get.” Mark Reynier remained tighted-lipped over the details of the talks. But he told The Scotsman: “Rémy has been following our progress for a while. They have a very dynamic team. They are fairly-advanced talks. We all have mixed emotions here about it but clearly it's very good news for Bruichladdich.”

Updates will most likely appear on the Bruichladdich Website

Islay Barley 2006 Dunlossit Farm

In the mid nineteenth century, 4000 acres of malting barley were grown on the island of Islay, but due to The Great War and its Islay casualties, the yield collapsed to zero. The programme by Bruichladdich to re-establish the cereal on the island now means 800-1000 tons, a quarter of the Victorian era yield, is now harvested for Bruichladdich. The latest result of this push for local grown barley is another expression of Bruichladdich's Islay Barley Series, this time from Dunlossit Farm, which is released today.

Bruichladdich's Islay Barley Series showcases the first single malt whiskies in a century to be exclusively Islay-made - from barley to barrel to bottle. In these days of increasing production efficiency and global market raw material sourcing, the real sense of place, the terroir from which Scotch whisky originated, has been lost. Bruichladich have set out to rectify this with a single malt that was made from barley reassuringly sown and grown on the Islay. The unpeated barley was distilled in to Bruichladdich whisky, warehoused and matured, and finally bottled still on the Hebridean island at Bruichladdich Distillery.

The terroir for this whisky is a desolate place known as the 'headland of the the gallows'. This lonely field is a rare patch of fertility amongst the barren, rocky outcrops and peat bogs tilled continually since Neolithic times. Evidence of Islay's earliest farmers, dated to 6,000 years ago, was discovered in this soil only last year. In this remote, unsullied earth, Chalice barley was grown by farmer Jim Logan in what is now called the Jubilee field on Dunlossit land owned by Bruno Schroder, a Bruichladdich shareholder. It was harvested in September 2006 and distilled eight weeks later. Non chill-filltered, and colouring-free, Bruichladdich's Islay Barley Series "Dunlossit" was bottled at 50% ABV and retails at around £38.

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Design a Tartan for 18th Birthday of Friends of Laphroaig

Last week over half a million whisky and Islay fans all over the world received an email from John Campbell, distillery manager of Laphroaig Distillery, about the 18th birthday of the Friends of Laphroaig (FOL). In fact, there were 502,015 friends of the Islay Distillery to be precise who received this email and these are staggering numbers. This month it's 18 years ago that Laphroaig started with the FOL activities and I myself joined the friends in July 2002 as nr 178,889. In the meantime all the family members are a friend of the distillery, including our 3yr old daughter. Being a friend of Laphroaig gives you first of all a square foot of land on Islay on the piece of land opposite the distillery and this is where the fun starts. You're supposed to visit your plot of land as much as possible, at least annually, to collect the rent, a dram of Laphroaig, to be collected at the visitors centre. This is perhaps not THE reason for visiting Islay but in my humble opinion a dram good one!

By starting the Friends of Laphroaig I can imagine that Laphroaig Distillery is for a large part responsible for getting Islay on the map abroad and for the growth in tourism, after all, they started in a time when distilleries like Ardbeg and Bruichladdich were closed/mothballed and Kilchoman distillery didn't exist. It was also a time that whisky wasn't half as popular as it is today. Now back to the email John Campbell sent to all the friends. Of course there will be quite a few celebrations in the month of May and they will mainly concentrate around the Islay Festival for which you have to be on the island. There is also another way in which you can partake in the celebrations and that is by designing a Friends of Laphroaig Tartan. Continue reading....