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Sazerac Plans-Expands London, Kentucky, Operations

11/25/2022
Louisville-based Sazerac Co. will construct nearly 20 barrel warehouses and expand Robinson Stave and Cumberland Cooperage in London, Kentucky. The $600 million project is expected to create 50 jobs in Laurel County.

The company is acquiring the 198-acre Rowland Acres Industrial Park to construct nearly 20 new barrel storage warehouses. The investment also includes a 72,000-square-foot expansion of Robinson Stave and Cumberland Cooperage, which Sazerac acquired in 2014, to increase production capacity for barrels used to store the company’s aging whiskies. Work on the project is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, with the first seven barrel warehouses expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.

“We are delighted to expand further in Laurel County and appreciate the warm welcome given to us by the local government and the economic development authority,” Mark Brown, Sazerac president and CEO, said. “We’ve invested in London-Laurel County because we know the residents are hardworking Kentuckians who take pride in their craft. Our construction of new barrel storage warehouses and expansion of our barrel cooperage operations will allow for the continued growth of Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.”

To date, Sazerac’s investment in Kentucky has included approximately $1.2 billion invested at Buffalo Trace Distillery, the company’s primary distillery, located in Frankfort. Sazerac’s Kentucky presence also includes Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro and its headquarters in Jefferson County.

“This is a significant investment in Kentucky by Sazerac as our signature bourbon industry continues to grow at an incredible rate,” noted Governor Any Beshear. “I am so glad to see this job creation in Southeastern Kentucky, as well as the growth of a company that has invested so much in the commonwealth over the past 25 years. Thank you to the leaders at Sazerac for further deepening their roots in the Bluegrass State.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual targets of: creation and maintenance of 50 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and paying an average hourly wage of $28.27, including benefits across those jobs.

“Jackson Energy looks forward to supporting and serving the needs of Sazerac-Buffalo Trace in Rowland Acres Industrial Park,” added Carol Wright, president and CEO of Jackson Energy Cooperative.. “As a local business partner with the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority, Jackson Energy recognizes the potential economic growth and job opportunities this industry will bring to our region.”

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing. By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

Sazerac can also receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

“What an exciting time for London,” said Paula Thompson, executive director of the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority. “Sazerac already provides quality jobs with great benefits, and we are happy they chose Laurel County for their operation expansion and this record-breaking investment in our community.”

Sazerac is an American, family-owned, leading producer and marketer of distilled spirits headquartered in Louisville. Founded in 1850, the company maintains eight major facilities in the United States and currently employs around 4,700 people across all U.S. operations.

The commonwealth’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion.

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