Earlier today, Rémy Cointreau and Lucas Bols announced the creation of a joint-venture to handle the Passoã liqueur. In time, Lucas Bols will look to acquire the brand outright. Here, just-drinks looks at the Passoã brand and the mechanics of today’s deal.

What is Passoã?

  • The brand was created in 1986 following a trip to Brazil for Cointreau’s master distiller. While there, he was introduced to the maracuja – passion fruit. The product maintains its Brazilian cues, as demonstrated by its label
  • Passoã is pink in colour and carries an abv of 17%
  • Consumable on its own, in cocktails or as part of a long drink, Passoã has “experienced recent successes” in the on-premise channel, according to Lucas Bols
  • Its largest market is Western Europe, particularly France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. The region accounts for around 85% of Passoã’s sales. Beyond Western Europe, the brand’s other important markets are Japan, Puerto Rico and the US

The new Passoã joint-venture

  • Lucas Bols will inject around EUR5m (US$5.5m) of working capital into the JV
  • The company will “assume full operational control”, including the day-to-day management of the entity, which will be based in France. Additional marketing and sales staff will be recruited and absorbed into the JV, while the “existing know-how and experience” will transfer across from Remy
  • Production will continue to be based at Remy’s facility in Angers, France
  • Remy will relinquish all control of Passoã, with the brand’s financials set to be consolidated into Lucas Bols’ accounts
  • The brand is expected to generate annual sales of around EUR18m. In fiscal-2016, Lucas Bols’ sales pre-Passoã were forecast to total EUR72.6m. The JV is estimated to bring in EUR2m to the bottom line, with Lucas Bols’ combined net profits now expected to total EUR14m
  • The acquisition, should it proceed, will occur “in due time”, the companies said

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