One of the Caribbean’s best distilleries has a new owner.
The St Lucia Distillers group of companies has been acquired by Martinique-based Group Bernard Hayot, which owns two of Martinique’s top rum distilleries: Rhum Clement and Rhum JM.
“The acquisition of SLD brings together two established traditions of rum making – Rhum Agricole and molasses based – into one portfolio,” the companies said in a statement. “GBH intends to put in place a comprehensive investment programme for St Lucia Distiller’s production and warehousing facilities.”
St Lucia Distillers 1931 rum was named Rum of the Year by Caribbean Journal in 2015.
The company’s rums include 1931 and Chairman’s Reserve, among others.
“I am excited and very happy that St Lucia Distillers has a new owner committed to further investment in our distillery and helping us build our brands both locally and internationally,” said Margaret Monplaisir, managing director of St Lucia Distillers. “We certainly have a bright future ahead and we are keen to begin working with our new owners. GBH also intends to use its considerable expertise to develop our tour at St Lucia Distillers making it a “must see” for visitors to St. Lucia, like they have done at Habitation Clement in Martinique.”
The latter has become one of the most creative distilleries in the region, now home to its own modern art museum.
In a statement, GBH Spirit Division Director Gregoire Gueden said the deal was a “a natural progression given the close proximity of Martinique to St. Lucia and the similarity of our heritage and cultures.”
“We admire the rums of St Lucia Distillers and believe we can build Chairman’s Reserve into a major global brand,” he said. “It is our intention to invest in the distillery, warehousing and SLD’s work force so that we can continue to make some of the greatest rums in the world.”