Romanian producer to build $100m distillery in NY

One of Romania’s largest spirits producers is plotting its expansion to the US, revealing plans to invest US$100 million in building a distillery in New York State.

The Alexandrion Group’s Alexander Vodka brand

The Alexandrion ‘Grup’ Romania plans to build a distillery the same size as the one it runs in Romania, employing 400 people, including Romanians, in the US, group president Nawaf Salameh told Agerpres, as reported by RomaniaInsider.com.

While the site for the distillery, or the specific spirits it will produce, have not been revealed, it will be a greenfield project in New York State, with construction due to start in several months and production in about a year.

“The US is a market that can not easily penetrate, and not only export. To be present in the market there must also produce there. For us, the US and Brazil are two major markets,” said Salameh, adding: “US production will cover fully the demand for that market, and the rest will be exported, complementing the contribution of other production facilities.”

Ilan Laufer, Romania’s Business Environment Minister, had said a Romanian company was planning to make a significant investment in the US last week, with Alexandrion confirming its intentions just days later.

“I believe it is an important moment in the strategic relationship between Romania and the US, and a huge success of the visit I had to SelectUSA with the Romanian delegation,” said Laufer.

SelectUSA is an event to support companies in Romania going international, and it is supported by the American Embassy to Romania and the Romanian Government.

The Alexandrion Grup, which was founded in 1994 and distributes more than 200 brands, producing everything from brandy, whisky and vokda to gin, vermouth and Tequilla, said it had been deliberating where to make its expansion for the past five years.

Settling on the US, Salameh added: “It is a strategical, not a commercial move. We will produce everything that can be distilled and all the brands will be ours.”

The group currently has two manufacturing facilities in Romania, in Radauti-Suceava and in Ploiesti-Prahova.

Alexandrion Grup Romania SRL recorded a turnover of €33.3 million in 2016, while its net profit stood at €4.2 million.

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