Angostura is in negotiations to buy the assets of Canada-based Maple Leaf Distillers.

In local reports today (9 December), it was claimed that the 180-year-old Trinidadian rum and bitters producer has signed an intent-to-purchase document for the distiller's production equipment, real estate, warehousing space and trademarks to some of its brands.

Angostura director and company secretary Michael Carballo told Winnipeg Free Press: "We have struck a deal, our intent is to purchase the assets of Maple Leaf and form a new company called Angostura North America."

When contacted by just-drinks today, a source at Angostura's parent company CL World Brands confirmed that the company was in negotiations with Maple Leaf.

The Canadian paper claimed that Angostura had entered discussions to buy Maple Leaf - a blender and bottler of liqueurs and spirits in Winnipeg - earlier this year for an expected purchase price of C$15m (US$12.9m).

"We want to enhance the entire production and marketing of Maple Leaf's operations for exports to the US and throughout Canada. We're shifting our North American production base from Trinidad to Winnipeg," Carballo added.

Costas Ataliotis, the current president and CEO of Maple Leaf, will assume the same roles with Angostura North America, Carballo told the paper.

The distillery has faced several financial issues this year, the paper noted, in preparation for the Angostura deal, such as facing a decision by the Crocus Investment Fund - which has since been placed into receivership - to liquidate its stake in Maple Leaf.