Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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CL Financial sells Hine Cognac
CL World Brands has announced the sale of its Thomas Hine and Company Cognac house to EDV SAS. The company, which followed the sale of Burn Stewart Distillers to Distell in April with the announcement that it was looking to offload Hine, confirmed the move on Thursday. EDV SAS is a French company that is controlled by the descendants of the family behind wine trader and distributor Établissements Nicolas.
The value of the transaction, which was concluded earlier this month, has not been disclosed, but local reports estimate it at between €40 million (US$53.5 million) and €60 million. In a statement, EDV SAS said: “Our strategy is to pursue the development and outreach of the Hine brand, in preserving its exclusive positioning on the market and the exceptional quality of its products, as well as in perpetuating the traditional values of its founding family.”
Founded in 1763, Hine is the only Cognac maker to possess a UK Royal Warrant and last year reported a turnover of €14 million. Hine Cognac was put up for sale in April by its UK-based owners CL World Brands. Managing director of the Hine Cognac Francois Le Grelle at the time confirmed the move, but said he was unable to reveal any further information. Le Grelle said he had yet to meet with any potential buyers.
Also in April, it was reported that Hine’s owner, CL World Brands, sold its Scotch whisky arm Burn Stewart Distillers to South African drinks giant Distell for £16 million. Marlon Holder, managing director of CL Financial Ltd, the parent company of CL World Brands, said he was confident Distell would take Burn Stewart to the next level of its international development. In September 2012, CL World Brands sold a majority stake in Appleton Estate rum’s parent company Lascelles DeMercado to Italian drinks company Gruppo Campari.
In 2009, Struggling Caribbean company CL Financial Ltd came under the management of the T&T Government following a billion-dollar bailout. Founded in 1763, Hine specialises in vintage Cognacs, which are released in very limited quantities after a minimum of 20 years of ageing. In 1962, Hine was granted a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II, as suppliers of Cognac. It is still the only Cognac house to this day to hold the honour. The house is celebrating 250th anniversary this year.
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