Edrington catapulted into dark rum sector with Brugal deal

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
Scotch whisky specialist Edrington Group has its sights on fast-growing rum markets after buying a majority share in the Brugal Company.

Drinks International understands Edrington paid more than £200 million for the 60 per cent share in Dominican Republic-based Brugal.

The deal catapults Edrington into the growing rum market. Brugal sells 5 million cases of golden rum annually, has an 80 per cent share of its domestic market and is one of the fastest growing rum brands in Europe.

Edrington has previously focused solely on Scotch whisky, producing The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and premium single malts The Macallan and Highland Park.

Chief executive Ian Curle said: "We announced some time ago our objective to increase international growth and stated that, as well as developing our core brands, we also intend to target opportunities outside the Scotch whisky category."

Brugal is a good strategic fit because it doesn't compete directly with Edrington's existing brands and has posted "high levels of growth in several mature markets", an Edrington spokeperson told Drinks International.

Brugal is to open an international sales office in Spain.

The Brugal family will continue to supervise production in the Dominican Republic, as it has since 1888. As part of the deal, George Arzeno Brugal will remain president of Brugal Company's board of directors, and Franklin Baez Brugal will become executive president of the firm's board of administration.