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International Beverage to acquire Larsen Cognac

International Beverage, the global arm of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, has entered into an agreement to acquire the Larsen Cognac business from Nordic drinks group Anora.

International Beverage is readying itself to acquire Larsen’s production site and eau-de-vie maturation stock in Cognac, France, as well as its Cognac brands Larsen, Renault and Monopol, plus brandy brand Ibis.

The deal marks the company’s first move into the Cognac category, and forms part of a wider strategy to expand its portfolio of premium spirits.

The agreed enterprise value is €54.1 million and the purchase is expected to close at the end of September 2023.

Following completion of the transaction, International Beverage plans to focus on key export markets in Asia, including China and Hong Kong, for the Larsen Cognac brand.

International Beverage already owns a premium spirits distribution business, AsiaEuro International Beverage (AIB) in Hong Kong, and is part of Thai Beverage Company Public Limited.

Anora, which has owned Larsen Cognac since 2013, will continue as the exclusive distributor for the Larsen, Renault, Monopol and Ibis brands in the Nordic and Baltic regions, including within the travel retail and duty free channels.

Malcolm Leask, managing director of International Beverage said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Larsen Cognac and their team to International Beverage, along with the Renault, Monopol and Ibis brands. Cognac is one of the most dynamic categories in spirits today, and we are extremely proud to have such an admired brand and skilled production team joining our business.”

He added: “The Larsen team’s dedication to excellence aligns perfectly with our ethos, and the quality of their portfolio is a perfect complement to our existing whisky, gin, and rum brands.”

Leask said that the acquisition also “marks the start of a new era” for International Beverage, “and a strategy that will see us add high quality brands across a range of categories and markets to take our business to the next level.”

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Southeast Asia’s leading beverage producer and distributor, International Beverage is already a distributor of Larsen Cognac in China and Hong Kong through its subsidiary, AsiaEuro International Beverage (AIB).

The Cognac brand was founded in 1926 by Norwegian adventurer Jens Reidar Larsen after he settled in South West France.

The existing International Beverage portfolio includes Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whisky, Hankey Bannister blended Scotch whisky, Caorunn Gin, Phraya aged rum, Mekhong Thai spirits, Chang Beer and Saigon Beer.

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