Duke Street Capital has sold its majority stake in Marie Brizard & Roger International (MBRI) to French Spirits Group Belvédère, for a total of €397 million.
Duke Street acquired a 69.3% stake in Marie Brizard (MBRI), a company listed on Second Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange in May 2000, when the family-owned company was experiencing commercial and financial difficulties.
Duke Street carried out a turnaround of the business, bringing in new management including Eric Brousse as chairman of the board of directors and Jean-François Le Bos as finance and strategy director. The new management team accelerated the group’s internal and external growth strategy and acquired two additional alcoholic drinks businesses, Les Chais Beaucairois in August 2002 and William Pitters in March 2005.
With the acquisition of Les Chais Beaucairois, the third largest independent wine producer in France, MBRI acquired large production capacities resulting in significant synergies on production costs and increasing volumes. With the acquisition of William Pitters International in March 2005, the business added strong strategic positions in spirits (whisky, port, tequila) and realized substantial synergies by merging Marie Brizard and William Pitters’ sales forces in a matter of months. This last acquisition has enabled Marie Brizard to strengthen its credibility and its market weight in supermarket distribution. —A.S.