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Bacardi Ltd

Bacardi-Martini are one of the world’s largest wine and spirits groups. Bacardi produce a dozen varieties of its namesake rum and sell over 200 bottles a year in almost 100 countries. The company's brands include Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini & Rossi vermouth, Dewar's Scotch whisky, DiSaronno Amaretto, and B&B and Benedictine liqueurs. Other drinks by Bacardi include vodka, tequila, cognac, sparkling wine, and Hatuey beer. The descendants of founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso own Bacardi.[1]

Bacardi employ more than 6,000 people and own 31 plants around the world. Ten of these plants are for producing Bacardi Rum. Martini and Noilly Prat are created in five plants and two plants produce Dewar’s and William Lawson’s Scotch Whisky. There are also five additional Malt Distilleries and nine production sites covering a wide range of brands.[2]


The history of Bacardi can be traced to 1862 when it was founded in Santiago de Cuba by a Frenchman and a Catalan. The company was registered on 2nd June 1862 by Bacardi brothers Jose and Facundo along with Frenchman Jose Leon Bouteiller.

Bacardi became nationally known on 10th November 1874 when Facundo bought out his brother and Boutellier, taking over the running of the distillery with his two sons. The distillery building was reportedly full of fruit bats which provided the inspiration for the Bacardi logo. The company made extraordinary earnings for a company producing rum by hand. In 1891 the company showed assets of 64,839.45 pesos.

In 1910 the company began bottling rum in Barcelona and in 1914 they opened a distribution office in New York. Bacardi’s earnings between 1913 and 1917 increased from 175,422.83 to 416,900.00 pesos. By 1921 Bacardi has assets amounting to 6 million pesos. In 1929 the company began bottling rum in Mexico and in 1936 they built a factory in Puerto Rico. In the 1940s Bacardi’s business in Puerto Rico and Mexico overtook those based in Cuba.

Prior to the Cuban revolution of 1959, Bacardi relocated the world registration of its trademark to the Bahamas. This made Bacardi a company without a national identity long before the days of transnational companies. By 1960 Bacardi had assets that totaled over $75 millon. By 1978 Bacardi had become the number one selling spirit brand in the United States. [3]

In 1992 the company unified its five strategic operating units by forming Bacardi Ltd which was incorporated and headquartered in Bermuda. In 1993 Bacardi Ltd acquired Martini & Rossi. In 1995 Bacardi Imports was officially renamed Bacardi-Martini U.S.A., Inc. [4]


Portman Group | European Alcohol and Health Forum | World Federation of Advertisers | Wine and Spirit Trade Association


Bacardi-Martini Limited Brands.[5]

  • Bacardi Rums.
  • Martini.
  • Bombay Saphire
  • Grey Goose
  • Bacardi Breezer
  • Noilly Prat
  • Dewar’s Whiskies
  • 42 Below Vodka
  • Cazadores Tequila

Bacardi-Brown Forman Brands

  • Jack Daniels
  • Southern Comfort
  • Finlandia Vodka
  • Chambord
  • Tuaca
  • Woodford Reserve

Agency Brands

  • Drambuie


Bacardi takes the marketing of it's products very seriously. In the states they spent $29.3 million in U.S. media (excluding the internet) for its rum, another $20 million on promoting Grey Goose as “The World’s Best Tasting Vodka,”. In 2007 the company spent $74 million on advertising in the U.S. [6].

Board of Directors



Helms-Burton Act

The Helms-Burton act is also known as the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (Libertad). In congressional circles the legislation was known as the Bacardi Bill. Otto Reich was one of the key figures in the implementation of the bill and he had formerly worked for Bacardi’s lobbyists. [9]. It is an act designed to “seek international sanctions against the Castro government in Cuba, to plan for support of a transition government leading to a democratically elected government in Cuba, and for other purposes.” [10]

On March 12th 1996, in response to Cuba’s downing of two American civilian aircraft. President Clinton signed the Helms-Burton act into law. The act contains controversial provisions that allow American citizens to recover damages in United States courts from foreign entities that own or benefit from American owned property in Cuba that has been expropriated by the Cuban government. [11]

Bacardi: The Hidden War

In his book Bacardi: The Hidden War, Investigative journalist Hernando Calvo Ospino investigated the commercial and political activities of Bacardi. Ospina attempted to show how multinational companies like Bacardi act for political as well as economic interests.

The book alleges that in the 1960s the head of Bacardi, Jose Pepin Bosch had planned to bomb Cuba’s oil refineries. The plan was abandoned after being revelaed in the New York Times. Bosch was also accused of financing attempts to assassinate Fidel and Raul Castro as well as Che Guevara.

In 1981 directors and leading shareholders in Bacardi were instrumental in forming the Cuban American National Foundation (Canf). Canf was one of the main bodies coordinating efforts to overthrow Fidel Castro. Canf was also used as a conduit for the Ronald Reagan administration backed war in Nicaragua. [12]


  1. Bacardi Profile on Yahoo business profiles Bacardi Business Profile Accessed Aug 2008
  2. Bacardi Plant Information Bacardi Plant Information Accessed Aug 2008
  3. Bacardi: The Hidden War, Hernando Calvo Ospina, Pluto Press, 2002
  4. Bacardi Ltd Web site Bacardi Ltd Profile Accessed Aug 2008
  5. Bacardi Web site Bacardi Product Information Accessed Aug 2008
  6. Brandweek Website 5th August 2008,Colgate Exec to Lead Bacardi accessed 26th August 2008
  7. Just Drinks Website Bermuda: CEO Change at Bacardi accessed 26th August 2008
  8. Bacardi Board of Directors Bacardi Board of Directors
  9. Bacardi: The Hidden War, Hernando Calvo Ospina, Pluto Press, 2002
  10. The Helms-Burton Act Helms-Burton Act Accessed Aug 2008
  11. Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law Journal Article on Helms-Burton Accessed Aug 2008
  12. Bacardi: The Hidden War, Hernando Calvo Ospina, Pluto Press, 2002