Wider control over route-to-market unleashes strategic, brand and synergetic opportunities
Lucas Bols N.V., a leading global cocktail and spirits player (“Lucas Bols”), today announces the creation of Maxxium BeLux, a 50/50 joint venture between Lucas Bols and Edrington, the ultra-premium spirits company. The new joint venture will distribute Lucas Bols’ and Edrington’s portfolios of brands in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Maxxium BeLux strengthens the partnership that started in 2009 when the power of their brands and the expertise of Maxxium were combined in the Maxxium Netherlands joint venture.
Maxxium BeLux fits Lucas Bols’ asset-light business model as it strengthens its distribution platform with limited additional financial investments required and will enable the company to meet the demands of key customers across the Benelux region with a single distributor solution. This mirrors recent Benelux consolidation developments in the market, for example evidenced by an increasing presence of Dutch retailer and cash-and-carry customers in Belgium.
Lucas Bols’ enhanced presence and proximity in the region, including key cities such as Brussels and Antwerp, allows the company to fully leverage synergies on its most prominent brands in Belgium and Luxembourg: Bols Cocktails, Passoã and Pisang Ambon.
The Maxxium management team will be complemented by area leaders for Belgium and Luxembourg that have been recruited recently. The Maxxium BeLux commercial operation will be based in Brussels, with central back-office support from Maxxium Netherlands in Amsterdam. This setup secures a specific, local BeLux focus while driving cost and scale efficiencies and reducing complexity.
The Maxxium BeLux company will begin operating on 1 October 2021, initially with the Lucas Bols portfolio of brands which is in the final stages of being transferred from its current distributor Rémy Cointreau. The Edrington portfolio will transition from its current distributor, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, to Maxxium BeLux in January 2022.
Through Maxxium BeLux, Maxxium Netherlands and Lucas Bols USA, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lucas Bols), Lucas Bols now controls the distribution of approximately 40% of its revenue, including the route-to-market in the wider Benelux home market and North America.
Commenting on Maxxium BeLux, Huub van Doorne (CEO Lucas Bols) says: “We are very pleased to expand our successful long-term partnership with Edrington by establishing Maxxium BeLux together. For Lucas Bols it represents an exciting opportunity to accelerate the growth of our portfolio of brands, particularly on leading cocktail brands like Bols Cocktails, Passoã and Pisang Ambon.”
Huw Pennell (Edrington’s Regional Managing Director, Europe) added: “I am pleased to extend our long partnership with Lucas Bols and to be working with Etienne Hoek and the new Maxxium BeLux team in Belgium. Brussels is an important element of our European key city strategy for The Macallan and we are excited by the opportunities we see for the entire Edrington portfolio in Belgium.”
Etienne Hoek (Managing Director Maxxium) adds: “I am incredibly excited to work with Lucas Bols, Edrington and my leadership team to bring the expertise built by Netherlands spirits market leader Maxxium to Belgium and Luxembourg. We now have a unique position: a strong base in the Netherlands, synergy opportunities for the three countries and local expertise per area, that we also expect other brand partners to benefit from.”