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Bacardi's Angel's Share Brands co-founder says mother's lawsuit "defamatory"

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The co-founder of the Bacardi-owned Bourbon unit Angel's Share Brands has hit back at a lawsuit filed against him by his mother this week, saying it includes "baseless and defamatory" inaccuracies.

Wes Henderson's mother, Cecilia Henderson, is suing her son for a share of the brand's sale to Bacardi in March. She claims she is entitled to about 10% of the proceeds of the sale because she is the sole beneficiary of Lincoln Henderson, her late husband.

Lincoln Henderson spent 30 years working for Brown-Forman and helped create the Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve brands. He started Angel's Share - and created its Angel's Envy brand - with his son, Wes, before his death in 2011.

However, a spokesperson for Wes said yesterday that the claims in the suit "all seem to be influenced by outsiders looking to capitalise on the family’s recent success". The spokesperson also said Wes was "both surprised and extremely saddened" by the lawsuit.

"The complaint includes numerous inaccuracies and misinterpretations, all of which are baseless and defamatory," the spokesperson added.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday, Cecilia Henderson said that Wes had "effectively stolen" his father's share of the company and his mother's inheritance. She also claimed Wes intends to use the money from the Bacardi sale to "finance his lifestyle" and buy "exotic luxury cars and vacation homes".

Bacardi's purchase of Angel's Share Brands - for an undisclosed fee - signalled the company's entrance into the Bourbon category. A spokesperson for Bacardi told just-drinks yesterday that the lawsuit was a personal matter for the Henderson family and that it "would not be appropriate" to comment.

To read a just-drinks interview with Wes Henderson on the Bacardi acquisition, click here.


Sectors: Spirits

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