Rum distillery purchase consolidates foreign ownership

In a further foreign acquisition of a major Caribbean rum distiller, the French company, Maison Ferrand, has bought the historic West India Rum Distillery in Barbados for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase of the distillery from former owner Goddard Enterprises will also see the French distiller of cognac and gin acquire the West India Rum Distillery’s share of the National Rum Company of Jamaica, which runs the Monymusk and Long Pond distilleries.

The owner of Maison Ferrand, Alexandre Gabriel, already sources rum in the Anglophone Caribbean to produce Plantation Rum.

Mr Gabriel said that owning a distillery in the Caribbean had been a dream for many years.

The Barbados and Jamaica acquisitions are expected to see the Jamaica distilleries becoming a secondary source for Plantation Rum, an aged and blended product. The West India distillery, meanwhile, will be the principal source of rum for Maison Ferrand’s aged and blended products. The company will distribute its products in 68 countries.

The West India distillery has produced rum since the 19th Century. Maison Ferrand has said that it hopes to restart production using its old pot stills, one of which has been dormant for almost 100 years. It will continue to honour third party production contracts with other brands.

The structure and ownership of the Caribbean rum industry has changed significantly in recent years. Although distilleries and brands preserve the image of being family run….

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