FINLAND: Altia Corporation CEO "extremely happy" with Larsen Cognac inventory
Altia bought Larsen in September
The CEO of Altia Corporation has said he is “extremely happy” with the inventory of Larsen Cognac, though admitted previous owner Rémy Cointreau did keep some stock for itself.
Antti Pankakoski said Rémy took “a part of the inventory” during its eight months in control of Larsen. Rémy sold Larsen to Altia for an undisclosed sum in early September.
In an interview with just-drinks today (6 November), Pankakoski said both Altia and Rémy were pleased with the Larsen deal, which gives Altia an office in Cognac.
“It was a perfect match from our point of view,” he said. “We've been looking to expand our inventory for quite some time and looking for a base in the Cognac area.”
Of the Larsen inventory, he said: “It's a top quality inventory. It's a rich inventory with all vintages that we need for our products in the future. So we are extremely happy.”
Altia says it is now the sixth-largest Cognac house, with Larsen sitting alongside 2010 acquisitions Gronstedts and Admundsen Cognac as well as last year's purchase of Renault Cognac.
However, Pankakoski said Larsen, which has doubled Altia's Cognac inventories, “opens a window for us into the greater world” as its international presence opens up markets such as the US and China to the Finland-based firm for the first time.
“Now we have a bottling facility and warehouses, so our position to compete in the Cognac market is completely different to what it used to be,” he said. “We have the whole value chain in our own hands and it feels good.”
The CEO also said Altia is ready to grow Larsen beyond its current size. “Expansion is definitely on the cards and something we are preparing ourselves for.”
To read a just-drinks interview with the MD of Thomas Hine & Co Cognac house, François Le Grelle, click here.
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