Belvedere close to Marie Brizard deal

Belvedere close to Marie Brizard deal

French group La Martiniquaise and Thai Public Beverage Co (ThaiBev) are the only two candidates in the running to acquire Belvedere's Marie Brizard drinks unit, a source close to the negotiations has told just-drinks.

Belvedere has La Martiniquaise and ThaiBev on its shortlist after other potential candidates, including Quartier Français and Russian vodka group Kaufmann fell out of the bidding.

“We are reaching the end of the sale process now and very soon it will be up to Belvédère to choose between La Martinquaise and ThaiBev,” a source close to the talks said yesterday (22 June).

Belvedere must sell Marie Brizard as part of a deal with the French courts to bring down the drinks group's debt and enable it to relaunch from bankruptcy protection.

The courts had initially fixed a deadline of 30 June for a Marie Brizard sale. “This date remains a possibility even though any deal would only be finalised following the approval from Marie Brizard’s works council, the trustees and the regulator,” the source said.

La Martiniquaise owns Porto Cruz Port and whiskies, Label 5 and Glen Turner, while ThaiBev brews Chang beer. Neither company has confirmed its interest in Marie Brizard, which owns William Peel whisky and Berger pastis.