Laurent Schun

incoming: Laurent Schun

The new chief executive office of Angostura Holdings Ltd—the Eastern Main Road, Laventille manufacturer of rum and bitters—is expected to be officially announced today.

The company’s new CEO is Laurent Schun, who comes to T&T’s publicly listed spirits company after spending 28 years employed with Pernod Ricard, the multinational French company that is among the top ten largest spirits companies in the world by revenue.

Schun’s last assignment at Pernod Ricard was as the CEO of its Caribbean and Central American operations, based in Miami, where he was responsible for 30 territories and 40-plus distributors, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His appointment was confirmed by a director of Angostura on Saturday, who said the chairman of the company, Terrence Bharath, signed the material-change notification for Schun on Friday. Checks of the website of the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission indicated the notice had not been uploaded up to late yesterday.

Angostura’s last substantive CEO was Peter Sandstrom, who spent nine months on the job.

According to a material change notice posted on the website of the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission, Sandstrom’s appointment as Angostura CEO took effect on January 13, 2020, as the company received the required statutory approval on January 8, 2020.

Sandstrom advised of his resignation on September 15, 2020. The company’s board accepted the Sandstrom’s resignation on that day and it took effect on September 30, 2020.

In a news release announcing the CEO’s departure, Angostura Holdings said Sandstrom’s resignation was due to “unforeseen family matters requiring his immediate and sustained presence in the United Kingdom”.

The company said: “The Board of Directors has accepted Mr Sandstrom’s resignation and wishes him and his family well during these challenging times.”

Before Sandstrom, Angostura’s substantive CEO was Genevieve Jodhan, who was appointed as Group CEO of Angostura Holdings Ltd with effect from February 14, 2017. She resigned on April 4, 2019, with immediate effect, but before that she was on vacation leave from October 30, 2018. Jodhan’s leave was initially called administrative, but that was replaced by vacation leave, following the intervention of her attorney, Michael Quamina, on the same day she proceeded on leave.

Ian Forbes, the company’s chief operating officer, acted as CEO between Jodhan’s departure and Sandstrom’s appointment and following the departure of Sandstrom.

Performance

For the nine months ended September 30, 2022, Angostura declared after-tax profit of $89.64 million, which was 2.88 per cent lower than for the same period in 2021.

The company’s revenue increased by 15.96 per cent to $711.01 million for the period January 1 to September 30, 2022, compared to $613.11 million for the first nine months of 2021.

In his report accompanying the company’s results for the nine-month period, Bharath said Angostura’s revenue performance for the period was primarily driven by growth in the local market of 10.8 per cent, the North American market of 25.7 per cent and the Europe, Middle East Asia and Africa segment of 39.4 per cent.

But he said: “The profitability of this period was impacted by an increase in expected credit loss due to aged receivables, primarily from local customers.”

Bharath also noted that “the increase in selling and marketing expenses, up $37.44 million from the priod period, is consistent with our strategy to invest in international markets and its concomitant need to increase those expenses to capture more market share.”

Following the collapse of the CL Financial empire in 2009, the State took control of Angostura’s board, appointing a majority of its directors.

The State’s investment holding company, National Investment Fund Holding Company (NIF), is Angostura’s second largest shareholder with a 29.90 per cent stake. The 61,677,011 shares that make up NIF’s shareholding in Angostura were transferred to the Government from CLICO in 2017, following directions from Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert. Those shares reduced CLICO’s debt to the Government.

Angostura’s largest shareholder is Rumpro Company Ltd, which owns 44.87 per cent of the rum and bitters company. Rumpro is controlled by the joint liquidators of CL Financial.

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