Diageo forms joint venture to distribute Santiago de Cuba rum

Galtero Lara
Agosto 13, 2019

Corporation Cuba Ron S.A. and a subsidiary of the company Diageo signed Monday in Havana the establishment of a joint venture with the goal of boosting Santiago de Cuba rum production.

"Working with the Cuba Ron Corporation provides a great opportunity to expand our business and product portfolio", said David Cutter, head of global production and sales at Diageo.

Cuban rum brands account for 9% of the retail sales value of this growing segment globally.

Juan Gonzalez Escalona, president of Corporación Cuba Ron, said: "We are proud to announce the creation of this joint venture, which will bring the award-winning Santiago de Cuba to consumers around the world".

With four core variants (Carta Blanca, Anejo, 11-year old and 12-year old) Santiago de CubaTM is the second largest premium Cuban rum, renowned for its high quality and provenance in the traditional rum distilling region of Cuba.

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Santiago de Cuba expands Diageo's stable of rum brands, which includes worldwide marques Captain Morgan and Ron Zacapa, as well as Cacique, Bunderberg and Pampero, which are mostly available in local markets. It is an expression of its people and part of our Cuban tradition and culture. The brand will not be distributed in the US.

Ron Santiago will have exclusive global distribution rights to Santiago de Cuba, which will join Diageo's super-premium Reserve portfolio with a focus on "driving growth in key cities and resorts across Europe".

The Trump administration in May allowed Title III of the 1996 Helms Burton Act to take effect, enabling USA citizens to bring lawsuits against foreign companies profiting from property taken from them after Cuba's 1959 revolution.

Diageo is confident it will not be liable because the joint venture involves one of its European subsidiaries.

Cesarano said a subsidiary of Diageo with no ties to the United States was the partner and no company personnel who work with or in the United States were involved in the project or would be in the future.

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