Remy may buy Bruichladdich. So what?

There’s been much talk since last night’s tweets from Mark Reynier about the possible sale of Bruichladdich  to  Remy Cointreau

How will it affect whisky lovers?

There are as many opinions as there are whisky lovers but let’s not jump the gun, or pop the cork or empty the barrel, just yet.   A bit of the corporate stuff first. Remy is a public company and probably has to make public any information that could possibly impact on their share price, issue a cautionary notice or something like that.  The projected sale price (from what I read) is not going have a major impact on Remy, so let’s suppose that they did not have to make anything public.  Then, deals like this take time, and when the talks commenced you can be sure there were non-disclosure agreements between the parties.  Yesterday for whatever reason the parties agreed to go public, which means that a deal is close.  There are, I understand, 150 shareholders of the Bruichladdich holding company, and their approval would have to be sought and obtained.   I’m positive the major shareholders would have been involved in the negotiations, so unless there are minorities with clout, shareholders are happy. Provided the due diligence goes smoothly, maybe a deal will be done in a month.

So what.

Let’s get some perspective.  Remy is a global drinks giant with an operating profit of 207 million Euro.  Bruichladdich is a little company on a little island that makes damn fine whisky and sold 8 million pounds worth last year.  Are Remy really going to change things? Do they have a track record of major changes with acquisitions? Or do they leave things be, let the guys who know what they are doing just carry on, and Remy add value with better back office systems, distribution and so forth.

There can be much debate about this, the future of the industry, good news, bad news and so it goes.

But before we debate, let’s ask ourselves – did we really care about the Bruichladdich corporate structure? Did we worry about how many shareholders there are? Did we bother about their profits or turnover?

Or did we just sit back and say – hell, these guys are making great whisky and their packaging is really good.  Because that’s what I did.

And I don’t think anything is going to change.

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4 Comments

  1. I would not care so much either if Bruichladdich’s whole brand strategy wouldn’t have been build on just splendid independence and freedom from global coporate influence. They deliberately created an underdog image, a true alternative to what happens on the whisky market: “Read our lips, we will always stay free from global corporate influence”. Now we customers know better, it was just a smart marketing gimmick. However, Bruichladdichs customers are smart, too. They won’t be fooled twice. It is no good idea to betray someone’s trust so profoundly, neither in private nor in business relationships.

    1. Loose cannons never last forever, sometimes they have to focus on a retirement fund and then – carry on doing what they do, for love, not for money.

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