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US: Fortune signs Cruzan production partnership

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Fortune Brands has signed a deal with the Governor of the US Virgin Islands for a 30-year public-private partnership that will see an expansion of production capacity for Cruzan Rum in the Islands.

Under the 30-year deal, the Virgin Islands government will commit to continue to share the cost of molasses, as it has for several decades, the company said today (8 October). In addition, the government will continue to invest a portion of the tax revenues generated from the sales of locally-produced rum in growing Cruzan Rum and the Virgin Islands rum industry.

Finally, the government will provide financing for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and to expand capacity of the Cruzan distillery by more than 50%.

A statement said that the expansion of rum production would grow rum excise tax revenue to the Virgin Islands. It is anticipated that the expansion will double the revenues generated from the existing US$90m per year in rum "cover-over" revenue.

"This is an exciting and proud day for all of us at Cruzan," said Gary Nelthropp, president and master distiller of Cruzan Rum. "It's exciting because we are putting Cruzan and Virgin Islands rum on a path to dynamic growth. And proud because this agreement demonstrates a commitment to securing Cruzan's long-term future in America on St Crois."

Following the announcement by the Governor, the Virgin Islands Senate will now consider the proposed agreement.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Fortune Brands

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