The family-owned Nolet Group, known for producing Ketel One vodka, has entered into an agreement to acquire Lucas Bols, a fellow Dutch distillery.
Lucas Bols’ management and supervisory boards have given their support to an offer that values the liqueurs and Tequila business at €269.5 million ($284.1 million).
Nolet, a family-owned company, has been a shareholder in Lucas Bols since the cocktail maker went public in 2015, holding a 29.9% stake in the business.
The companies announced today that the bid offers a premium of approximately 76% over Lucas Bols’ closing share price on Friday, October 6th. This recommendation has been made to the shareholders of Lucas Bols.
Lucas Bols, which will retain its name and brands, will be brought into Nolet Group as “a separate company”, the statement read. It will keep its office in Amsterdam.
CEO Huub van Doorne and CFO Frank Cocx will continue in their current positions. Collectively, they own a 5.4% stake in Lucas Bols. They have reached an agreement to sell their shares to the Nolet Group.
Van Doorne said, “Together, we create a Dutch champion in the global spirits and cocktail market with a strong portfolio of brands, the right focus and strengthened brand investments.”
For the fiscal year ending in March, Lucas Bols reported revenue of €100.9 million, reflecting a 9% increase compared to the previous year. The company attributed this growth to factors such as “premiumization,” price adjustments, currency exchange rates, and the acquisition of the Tequila brand Partida in the prior year.
Nevertheless, Lucas Bols reported that its “normalized” operating profit declined by 26.7% to €15.1 million, primarily due to elevated input and logistics expenses, as well as a significant increase in marketing expenditures, as stated by the company at the time.
The group’s adjusted net profit amounted to €10.1 million, compared to €14.7 million in the previous year.
Carel Nolet, the chair of Nolet Group, said, “Nolet and Lucas Bols complement each other well in terms of markets, brands, innovation and marketing. For us, the combination with Lucas Bols is a valuable expansion with a strong portfolio of well-known brands. Lucas Bols is an industry-leading company we know very well. We have been a large shareholder since its listing in 2015 and have been supporting the leadership in delivering their strategy ever since.”
Lucas Bols’ product lineup encompasses Passoã fruit liqueur, the sparkling liqueur brand Nuvo acquired in June, and the non-alcoholic spirits brand Fluère, which was acquired at the beginning of the year.
As per the agreement’s provisions, Lucas Bols has committed not to actively seek alternative offers from third parties. However, if a competing cash offer is presented, and the Lucas Bols boards deem it to be a more advantageous proposal and transaction, surpassing the existing deal by a minimum of 12.5%, the Nolet Group retains the option to match such an offer.
As of 10:10 BST today, Lucas Bols’ shares had surged by 70.94% to reach €17.35.