Cognac maker's stock rises on speculation of takeover by Brown-Forman

April 4, 2014 

Shares of the French spirits company Rémy Cointreau SA ended Friday up 3.6 percent in Paris on speculation of a possible takeover by Louisville-based beverage giant Brown-Forman Corp., Bloomberg Business Week reported.

Rémy shares had gained as much as 11 percent Friday morning after the blog Betaville reported that Brown-Forman, maker of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey and Woodford Reserve Kentucky bourbon, has been working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other banks over the past few months to consider a possible purchase of the maker of Rémy Martin cognac.

Betaville updated its post after the original report to say that no formal talks are taking place, "and the chance of a deal at the moment is slim." A representative for Rémy could not be reached by Bloomberg for comment.

Brown-Forman said in a statement to the beverage industry website Just-drinks.com: "We don't comment on or respond to rumors or reports about acquisitions, divestitures or other financial matters."

Javier Gonzalez Lastra, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London, wrote in a note reported by Bloomberg: "Rémy is a jewel in the industry and companies like Brown-Forman, Bacardi or even Diageo would be interested. The controlling family, however, has refused to sell even in more difficult circumstances in the past 20 years. We struggle to see why they would do so now."

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