Vin & Sprit is poised to buy a controlling stake in spirits company Cruzan International. Angostura Ltd., Cruzan's controlling stakeholder, has entered into a stock purchase agreement with the Swedish-based wine and spirits group, pursuant to which V&S agreed to purchase Angostura's 67.8% holding in the spirits company.

The transaction will cost V&S US$121.8m, or US$28.37 per share, and is expected to close on or before 30 September.

Since 2003, Cruzan has had a distribution agreement with V&S that provides for joint marketing and for the distribution by V&S of Cruzan products in certain international spirits markets.

In a statement released late on Friday (3 June), Jay S. Maltby, Cruzan's chairman and CEO, said: "Angostura has been an extremely supportive controlling shareholder, and we regret the end of our relationship. We are, however, extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with, and have the further support of, V&S, one of the premier worldwide beverage alcohol brand marketers. We expect that the sale of controlling interest to V&S will now position the Cruzan brand into a much wider international distribution network.

"The price paid by V&S validates the shareholder value the company has built as a result of our efforts to develop and market the Cruzan brand both in the US and throughout the world."

Cruzan supplies rum, brandy and wine to the beverage alcohol industry. It also produces ultra-premium single-barrel aged rums and tropical rums, vinegar and other alcohol-related products.