LEWISTON — A company that owns the "world's most decorated distillery" has bought the former White Rock Distilleries bottling plant from Beam Inc.
According to a press release from U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud's office praising the sale, the plant employs about 120 people who will stay on the job.
Beam announced the sale to a subsidiary of Sazerac Co. on Wednesday afternoon for an undisclosed amount.
Beam bought White Rock in 2012 from the Coulombe family for $605 million in cash and announced earlier this year that production of its popular Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack Rum lines were moving to Kentucky.
“We told the workforce in Lewiston that we would explore different options for the plant, including potentially finding a suitable buyer,” Jim Morehead, Beam's director of manufacturing, said in a news release. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Sazerac purchase the plant and to continue operating it as a spirits bottling facility.”
Sazerac is a privately held company headquartered in New Orleans that produces whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cognac, cocktails, cordials, liqueurs and wine. One of the largest distillers in the U.S., it also owns Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Glenmore Distillery, Barton, Fleischmann, Medley and Mr. Boston, and their brands.
“We are pleased to be able to add the Lewiston plant to our operation's footprint,” Mark Brown, president and CEO for Sazerac, said in the same release. “With an experienced team who knows how to create the finest spirits, coupled with the right size and equipment and a good working knowledge of the brands we acquired from White Rock two years ago, we are looking forward to adding production volume back to the plant.”
The sale included the building, land and equipment. Beam will lease the plant from Sazerac until next March as it wraps production here.
A Sazerac spokeswoman declined to comment on the number of employees at the local plant or what lines might be produced there in the future.