Bacardi acquires St-Germain, aiming to make brand into global player


Bacardi Ltd. has acquired St-Germain elderflower liqueur, one of the market's fastest-growing spirits brands, from the Cooper Spirits Co. Terms of the deal between the two private companies weren't disclosed.

"Bacardi gives St-Germain the resources it deserves," Cooper said. "Both in the U.S. and internationally, Bacardi is fully committed to maintaining what we've done with the brand while building upon it in a way that we, as a small company, would've been unable to do."
Introduced in the U.S. market in 2007, St-Germain ($30-$35 a 750-ml.) quickly became a favorite of bartenders and mixologists in key metro markets around the country. Over the past few years, though, the ultra-premium French import has garnered a significant presence in the off-premise, resulting in sharp volume gains. After advancing by more than 50% to 65,000 cases in 2011, St-Germain won its first Impact "Hot Prospect" award. Late last year, Cooper told Shanken News Daily that the brand was on track to sell 85,000-90,000 cases in the U.S. in 2012, and that he expected its impressive growth to continue in 2013. "I think, both in the U.S. and worldwide, we'll grow another 50% at minimum," he said.

With the U.S. currently accounting for more than 80% of St-Germain's sales, the brand's presence outside its biggest market is small. But Bacardi is aiming to change that. "St-Germain is a natural fit for our portfolio, and we look forward to sharing it with consumers globally," said Ed Shirley, president and CEO of Bacardi Ltd., in a statement.

Michel Dyens