Martinique’s Groupe Bernard Hayot Acquires Saint Lucia Distillers (SLD)

The Saint Lucia Distillers Group of Companies (SLD) has been acquired by the Martinique based conglomerate, Groupe Bernard Hayot (GBH). GBH, a family owned group, has a number of businesses throughout the French overseas departments as well as in Trinidad & Tobago, The Dominican Republic, West Africa, China, Morocco and Algeria. Over the past decade, GBH has quietly become relevant in the spirits industry by developing its own premium Martinique Rum brands: Rhum J.M and Rhum Clément.

With the acquisition of SLD, GBH will bring together two traditional styles of rum-making under one umbrella – Rhum Agricole, from fresh sugarcane juice; and traditional rum from molasses. An aggressive investment programme is planned to improve SLD’s production facilities, aging cellars, and for the creation of a remarkable visitor experience making the Saint Lucia distillery a “must see”, as has already been done with Habitation Clément in Martinique. Gregoire Gueden, Managing Director – GBH Spirits Division, says there has never been a more interesting period in the history of rum: “The premium and super-premium rum categories are growing with increased momentum internationally and it is our ambition to become a key player in these market segments.”