Blog: Olly WehringRémy Cointreau - an invitation to join the speculation

Olly Wehring | 27 November 2006

Whilst a fair share of you were tucking into your turkey and pumpkin pie, Rémy Cointreau decided last week that Thanksgiving was the perfect time to drop its Maxxium bombshell.

Having been part of the distribution joint venture - along with The Edrington Group, Beam Global Spirits & Wine and V&S Group - since it was formed in 1999, Rémy has decided that it would be better off going it alone. The popular consensus is that the move is part of Rémy’s attempted seduction of a suitor to swoop in and carry the French company off into the sunset.

If you take a look here, you’ll see what one analyst had to say about the potential runners and riders. Of course, the drinks giants will also take a sniff around - as Pernod Ricard’s CEO, Patrick Ricard, told just-drinks earlier this year: “Everything that makes sense will be looked at - big or small, brown or white, wine or spirits. We will look at everything.” Diageo’s chief executive, Paul Walsh, would probably say exactly the same thing.

Pernod’s bases on Cognac and Champagne are pretty well covered, granted, but what of Diageo? The company has Hennessey Cognac in its portfolio, but only thanks to its 34% stake in Moët Hennessy. Diageo would not be drawn on its intentions in this area, but its Moët Hennessy relationship is very important to Diageo, particularly in China, where the French company plays a major part on the distribution front.

That said, would Moët Hennessy be interested in Rémy Cointreau? Sounds unlikely, I know. But then, how many of us can safely say that the only certainty in the drinks industry is certainty itself?

Rémy Cointreau will leave Maxxium in March 2009 - that’s plenty of time for the likes of just-drinks to speculate.

Won’t you join us?



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