Published: Friday November 7, 2008
Angostura, the new parent of both Appleton Rum and J Wray & Nephew, is expecting to export one million cases of Appleton rum to the United States within the next three years said its new chairman Lawrence Duprey.
Speaking with Caribbean Business Report en route to the Middle East, Duprey said: "We have high expectations for our recent acquisition of Lascelles de Mercado's Appleton rums. The United States is a lucrative market and one where you have to position your premium brands. We are expecting to export one million cases of Appleton rum a year there and we should be able to do so in two to three years time. Angostura is in the United States showcasing all its brands. We want our 1919 Rum to be a global brand."
This is in keeping with Duprey's vision of PanCaribbean brands that go on to becoming global in recognition. Earlier this year he said at a special business luncheon in Jamaica, "Our vision is to create a drinks company that produces high-quality spirits marketed in niches where we can maximise the profit from quality products. This is not Caribbeanisation in theory, it is Caribbeanisation in practice."
With Angostura enjoying a presence in 178 countries, he sees it being able to create strong brand recognition which will create jobs in marketing, advertising and production for people of the Caribbean.
Duprey has ambitions of placing both Appleton and J Wray & Nephew rums in markets in the Far and Middle East, East Africa and Eastern Europe. The Colonial Life (CL) financial boss already has an office in Taiwan and will use it as a springboard into that side of the world.
"Jamaica was fantastic in the recent Olympic Games held in China and reggae music is everywhere. We can ride on the popularity of Jamaica and create a platform for our Caribbean brands. We can target small countries and get them familiar with our product line. I have always felt that Africa, particularly South Africa, and Ghana present many opportunities for Angostura.
"We will be looking to place J Wray & Nephew in both Russia and the Balkans and have its over proof rum go up against Russian vodka. Now that would be a battle indeed!
Duprey went on to say that he expects Angostura/Lascelles to cross list on the region's leading stock exchanges next year. With its stable of leading brands he predicts it will be an attractive stock that will excite not just Caribbean people but international investors.
"We will be undertaking a global advertising campaign supported by CL Financial. This should help us when we eventually list as a major Caribbean company on the London Stock Exchange. I have received many offers to sell Angostura but the truth be told, I want to keep it as a Caribbean company that champions West Indian brands with top management from the region.
Duprey has said on many occasions that the Angostura / Lascelles deal gives both Jamaica and Trinidad an opportunity to partner in an enterprise that can go global.
Lawrence Duprey's CL Financial Group created a holding company, CL Spirits Limited for its acquisition of Lascelles de Mercado. The deal at close to US$900 million and at US$9.25 a share is the largest seen in the Caribbean.
CL Spirits is 100 per cent owned by CL Financial, which now holds 86 per cent of Lascelles. The second and final tranche of US$4.75 per share was paid at the end of July this year. Lascelles produces US$2 billion in net income annually.
Source: Jamaica Observer