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Published:  23 July, 2008

Scotch whisky producer Burn Stewart Distillers has been taken over by the Trinidadian-based holding company CL Financial, in a deal that values the company at 49 million. Burn Stewart produces the Scottish Leader, Drumgray, Tobermory and Wallace brands. These will now be added to CL Financial's other drinks interests, which include Angostura bitters and several rum brands. CL Financial said that it intends to form a new global marketing unit' headquartered in Scotland, by building upon Scottish Leader's strength in the Far East, Europe and South Africa. Together with our other drinks industry investments Burn Stewart will give us significant business activity in every continent of the world,' said Lawrence Duprey, executive chairman of CL Financial. Ian Bankier, group managing director of Burn Stewart, has been invited to become chief executive of the enlarged business. He said: I can't think of a better home for Burn Stewart.' The offer ends a lengthy and sometimes painful change in strategy for the company, which has moved from making low-margin own-label Scotch to promoting its own brands. CL Financial has held 29% of Burn Stewart's stock since 1999. When the deal is completed it will hold 53%.