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01/08/2013

St-Germain creator Robert Cooper continues as brand guardian and spokesperson.

Bacardi seeks to internationalize St-Germain; sets path to follow other highly successful acquisitions.

Hamilton, Bermuda, January 8, 2013—Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, has acquired St-Germain, the super-premium elderflower liqueur.

"St-Germain is one of the most exciting brands in the industry today. Since its launch only six years ago as a modern liqueur with a delicious and distinctive taste, St-Germain has stayed true to its French craftsmanship, engaged the bartending community in a way that few spirits brands have, and won some of the industry's most prestigious awards," said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited.

Heralded as "one of the most influential cocktail components introduced in the last decade" (The New York Times, December 2009) and the go-to ingredient for top mixologists, St-Germain is currently available in all 50 states in the United States and has a growing presence in international markets.

"I chose to work with Bacardi as we share many of the same cultural tenets. They are truly committed to quality, integrity and maintaining the energy and aura we have worked so hard to create. As a150-year-old private and closely-held company that was founded on principles of quality, integrity and innovation, Bacardi is committed to the long-term. This allows Bacardi to have the latitude to maintain our 'stop at nothing' approach to our artisanal production process," said Robert Cooper, creator of St-Germain and President of The Cooper Spirits Company. "With Bacardi's help, St-Germain can now become a truly international brand. That's something that would have been difficult for me to achieve as a small, creative brand-building company."

St-Germain has become a favorite of bartenders and top mixologists. Mr. Cooper will continue as guardian and inspiration of the artisanal super-premium liqueur, working hand-in-hand with the Bacardi organization and bartenders around the world. With backing by Bacardi, the bartender development and recognition programs Mr. Cooper developed with St-Germain will further flourish.

In acquiring St-Germain, one of the fastest-growing spirits brands in the United States, Bacardi Limited enhances its portfolio with St-Germain's captivating fresh flavor, reminiscent of tropical fruits, pear and citrus with a hint of honeysuckle. The extraordinary taste of St-Germain is at the heart of the increasingly popular St-Germain cocktail. "The unique taste and balance of St-Germain mixes beautifully with our other brands. St-Germain brings fresh flavor to every cocktail," said Ed Shirley, President and CEO of Bacardi Limited. "It is a natural fit for our portfolio, and we look forward to sharing it with consumers globally."

"Bacardi looks for the most influential innovations in the industry to add to our portfolio—it's really in our DNA," said Barry Kabalkin, Vice Chairman of Bacardi Limited. "St-Germain is set to follow other successful Bacardi acquisitions of cutting-edge brands—Grey Goose super-premium vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin and Patrón tequila, in which Bacardi owns a significant minority stake. We are thrilled to add St-Germain to our highly focused portfolio of iconic brands and honored to be working with Rob Cooper who is one of the industry's most successful innovators."

Bacardi, recognized for showcasing the unique heritage and origin of its brands, will continue to build St-Germain under the guidance of Mr. Cooper. "It's a long-term relationship," added Mr. Cooper.

With his entrepreneurial spirit and artisanal craft expertise, Mr. Cooper will continue to develop and lead what has been referred to as one of the most creative bar trade support programs, L'Equipe St-Germain. "Bartenders and mixologists are true artists and have been incredibly supportive and gracious to spend time with me to learn about my vision behind St-Germain," said Robert Cooper.

"Bacardi understands the critical importance and stature of mixologists in the spirits industry and will further develop the initiatives we have started. With the resources of Bacardi, this is really exciting." St-Germain is a hand-crafted artisanal French liqueur made from 100% fresh, hand-selected elderflowers that blossom in Europe once a year, during a four-to-six week period in late spring. When picked, they are swiftly delivered to small collection stations where harvesters are paid by the kilo for their flowers, often using specially rigged bicycles to carry them. This allows each harvester to work independently. The blossoms are quickly macerated to capture freshness and enhance the fruit-driven character of the elderflowers. St. Germain is an all-natural liqueur.

St-Germain has received an extraordinary number of prestigious industry awards, including the 2012 International High Quality Trophy by Monde Selection®, with six consecutive years of Grand Gold Awards, and a 2012 Finalist/Excellent Highly Recommended at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge®. St-Germain is set to take its position with the other award-winning brands in the Bacardi portfolio. As both entities are privately-owned, terms of the transaction are not available.


Michel Dyens