Remy Cointreau "could" offload Passoa to Lucas Bols in the coming years

Remy Cointreau "could" offload Passoa to Lucas Bols in the coming years

Remy Cointreau has lined up the divestment of its Passoã liqueur to Lucas Bols, with the two companies initially setting up a joint-venture to handle the brand's global activities.

In two separate statements earlier today, Remy and Lucas Bols confirmed their intention to create a JV, with Remy saying it will contribute "the full Passoã activities, including distribution, manufacturing, trademarks and inventory". Lucas Bols will take full responsibility for the new entity, with Remy also handing over financial control.

Both statements added: "In due time, the joint venture could lead to the acquisition by Lucas Bols of all shares in the joint venture."

What is Passoa and how is Remy Cointreau, Lucas Bols's new venture structured? - Click here for a just-drinks Focus

"The Rémy Cointreau group always strives to do what is best for its brands," said Remy CEO Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet. "We are confident that the Passoã brand will thrive and show its full potential under the management of Lucas Bols.

"The creation of this joint venture enables Rémy Cointreau to accelerate its refocus on its portfolio of exceptional spirits, which is at the core of the group's strategy."

Huub van Doorne, Lucas Bols' CEO, added: "We see ample opportunities to grow the Passoã brand in a number of markets, including the US. Passoã will benefit from our strategic focus, as a key brand in our global brands portfolio.

"The chosen transaction structure allows for a smooth transition while maintaining a prudent financing structure. With Passoã we are consolidating a high cash generative business, enabling us to capitalise on future growth opportunities."

On a pro-forma basis, Passoa will account for around 20% of Lucas Bols' annual sales of EUR91m (US$100m) in fiscal-2016.

While a date was given for the closure of the JV transaction - "before the end of 2016" - no time frame was provided for the divestment to Lucas Bols. When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Remy declined to give more specific details.

Created in 1986, Passoã is a passion fruit liqueur produced in France and available in around 40 markets. Around 85% of the brand's sales hail from Western Europe, with North America and Japan accounting for the remaining 15%.

What next for Lucas Bols? - Click here for an interview with Huub van Doorne, from late last year