Boom time for distilleries

05 September, 2008

The Glendronach Scotch whisky distillery has been bought by independent producer Ben Riach from Pernod Ricard's Chivas Brothers

for an undisclosed sum.

The sale of Glendronach, which Pernod inherited with the acquisition of Allied Domecq, had been on the cards for some time and could usher in a period of sales of smaller Scotch whisky distilleries.

Islay distiller Bruichladdich is reported to have turned down four offers in the past year

. Approaches have also been made to

independent operator Tullibardine.

Russian and Indian businessmen are eyeing up acquisitions as a way to cash in on an international Scotch whisky boom.

LVMH's Glenmorangie has put its Glen Moray blended whisky operation up for sale, with Whyte

& Mackay's name in the frame for a possible acquisition.

Ben Riach was established in 2004 when a team of three entrepreneurs, led by Billy Walker - a master blender in the industry for 30 years

- bought the distillery of the same name from Chivas.

Chivas chief executive Christian Porta said the sale to Ben Riach would see Glendronach get "the attention and commitment it deserves".

He added: "We have 13 operational distilleries, including the recently reopened Braeval, and we have

started significant expansion plans for Glenlivet, which is one of the top 15 priority brands for Pernod Ricard.

"Our focus is to continue to develop and improve these distilleries."

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