Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bacardi Snaps Up Leblon Cachaca and Banks Rum

     The Bermuda-based company has held a minority stake in Leblon Cachaca since 2008,
announcing today that a deal to acquire the remaining shares in the brand had been completed.   It follows a rash of acquisitions by the producer, which only this week announced its acquisition of premium rum brand Banks Rum. 
     Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, also known as aguardente. Leblon, described as a “premium artisanal cachaça”, is produced at Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s agricultural heartland.   Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor International, predicted that cachaça, “fighting old prejudices”, would become a key spirits trend of 2015, shifting from “commodity status to aspirational exoticism”.
        Bacardi also has expanded its portfolio of super-premium rums with the acquisition of Banks Rum.  Banks was founded in 2008 by Arnaud de Trabuc, former CEO of Angostura Group and president of Cognac producer Thomas Hine & Company, of Geneva,  Switzerland.
     The brand is inspired by the travels of 18th-century British explorer and botanist Sir Joseph Banks and is made by blending rums from up to seven different origins including Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Panama, Guatemala and Java.   de Trabuc’s previous position as former managing director of the Caribbean region for Premier Wines & Spirits gave him the “unique ability to source rums from otherwise competing islands”. 
    Bank’s composition is a closely guarded secret with final blends aged in previously used Bourbon barrels.   It is currently available in the US, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark and Singapore.   Banks currently sells 6,000 cases annually and has a portfolio which includes Banks 5-Island Rum, Banks 7 Golden Age Blend and various limited editions.