LAWRENCEBURG, IND., FEB. 15, 2007 -- Pernod Ricard USA and the CL Financial Group today announced a tentative agreement for the sale of Pernod Ricard's Lawrenceburg, Indiana facility – originally scheduled for complete shutdown – to CL Financial, a Trinidad and Tobago-based firm whose holdings include international drinks and ethanol group Angostura Ltd .
The planned sale is subject to certain conditions and approvals, and is targeted to be completed by mid-2007. The tentative list of assets to be sold includes the Lawrenceburg distillery, bulk warehouse, bottling plant and finished goods warehouse, as well as the Rushville Grain Elevator. Terms of the proposed sale would mean that a yet-to-be-determined number of jobs would be maintained at these facilities.
Pernod Ricard USA announced last year that a comprehensive, independent study had found excess capacity within its North American manufacturing operations, and that as a result the Lawrenceburg, Ind., facility would be closed. Bottling and Finished Goods operations were scheduled to be closed by mid-2007, and the Distillery and Rushville elevator were expected to be closed by mid-2008.
“At that time, we stated that we would actively search for any outside offers to purchase the site, since we were concerned about the closings impact on the community,” said Alain Barbet, President and CEO, Pernod Ricard USA. “That’s why we are extremely pleased to have found a company in our industry that will save jobs by continuing to operate the facility.”
CL Financial Group Executive Chairman Lawrence Duprey said he believes his company’s bid for the Lawrenceburg, Ind., facility’s assets was tentatively accepted because it “offers synergies for both companies, in addition to employment opportunities.” Duprey added that the planned asset acquisition of one of the largest American whiskey distilleries significantly adds to his firm’s international spirits portfolio and overall prowess in the market.
As Pernod Ricard USA and the CL Financial Group work towards finalizing the deal, the Lawrenceburg facilities will maintain existing production schedules. The agreement provides for the continuation of Seagram’s Gin distilling and mellowing at the Lawrenceburg, Indiana facility under the supervision of Angostura. As previously planned, all bottling for Seagram’s Gin and Wild Turkey would move to Pernod Ricard USA’s facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Pernod Ricard USA management met with employees today to tell them about the potential sale. The company also has announced that approximately 35 non-manufacturing employees soon will transition from the Lawrenceburg plant to a new office location in Northern Kentucky.
The Lawrenceburg Distillery was built in 1847 and acquired by the former Seagram Co. in 1933. Seagram was sold in 2001 to Pernod Ricard and Diageo, which divided its brands and facilities.
About The CL Financial Group
The CL Financial Group, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the largest conglomerates in the Caribbean operating in the areas of Spirits, Energy, Real Estate and Financial Services, with assets in excess of US$12B. Angostura is one of the leading Rum Manufacturers in the Caribbean, and is the worldwide producer of the household-name brand, Angostura® aromatic bitters. Angostura has shareholding and strong global positions in Scotch Whisky, Vodka, Rum, Cognac and Wine, as well as in Fuel Ethanol facilities in Trinidad & Tobago.
About Pernod Ricard USA
Pernod Ricard USA, based in Purchase, N.Y., is a leading producer, importer and marketer of prized spirits and wine brands in the United States and is one of the fastest growing subsidiaries of the world’s #2 spirits company and #4 wine company, Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard, S.A. The completion of Pernod Ricard’s acquisition of Allied Domecq in 2005 vaulted Pernod Ricard USA to the forefront of the U.S. spirits market, doubling the company’s sales value and market share. The company is now the third largest in the U.S. spirits industry by sales value and the fifth largest by sales volume in the U.S.
Pernod Ricard USA’s leading brands include Kahlúa® Liqueur, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Malibu® flavored Rum, Stolichnaya® Vodkas, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Wild Turkey® Bourbon, Beefeater® Gin, Hiram Walker™ Liqueurs and Martell™ Cognac, as well as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate® wines, Perrier Jouët® Champagne, Mumm® Champagne and Mumm Napa™ wines, and Pernod® and Ricard® Liquors. Enjoy Pernod Ricard’s brands responsibly and in moderation.
Source: Pernod Ricard USA