Remy Cointreau to buy U.S. single malt whiskey maker Westland

PARIS (Reuters) - French spirits group Remy Cointreau RCOP.PA said on Thursday it had agreed to buy American single malt whiskey maker Westland Distillery to tap growing demand for higher-priced spirits and boost its profit margins.

Seattle-based Westland, which has a portfolio of single malts in a price range of between $70 and $125, will complement Remy’s portfolio of small, niche upmarket single-malt whisky brands such as Bruichaddich on the Scottish Isle of Islay and Domaine Des Hautes Glaces in France.

The United States counts for 25 percent of a global single malt whisky market of 6 million 9-liters cases.

The U.S. single malt whisky market also had Compounded Average Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8 percent in volume in the last five years against 6 percent for the world market, Remy added.

The transaction, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is due to close before the end of the year, Remy said.

Remy Cointreau expressed confidence in year-end profit targets last month after a recovery in demand for cognac in China and in its main U.S. market boosted half-year results.

Remy shares, which are up by around 20 percent so far in 2016, were down 2 percent in early session trading.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta