Bols goes Dutch, again

ABN AMRO Capital and former Remy Cointreau executive Huub van Doorne have completed a €210m (US$250m) buyout of a portfolio of iconic Dutch spirit brands from French drinks maker Remy Cointreau.

ABN AMRO Capital, the private equity arm of the eponymous bank, will hold a 75% stake in Lucas Bols, with the remaining 25% owned by a management team led by van Doorne, a Remy Cointreau executive since 2004. The new company will be based in the Netherlands.

The brands bought feature a mix of mainly Dutch liqueurs and spirits, including Bols, Bokma, Coebergh, Corenwyn and Pisang Ambon, and Italian liqueurs Galliano and Vaccari, and the deal also includes Rémy Cointreau’s 33% stake in Avandis. According to ABN AMRO Capital, the brands have a combined annual turnover of €65m.

Remy Cointreau said in December that it was looking to sell liqueur and spirit brands, and its secondary champagne brands in order to focus on its internationally marketed Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck champagne brands.

At the time, the company said it was already in negotiations with a buyer in relation to some of those brands.

The €210m deal includes an initial cash payment of €170m, with the balance made up of a vendor loan.

In August 2005, Remy Cointreau completed the sale of its 50% stake in the Bols Vodka joint venture to the Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC) for US$79m in cash and an 8.3% stake in CEDC.