Bacardi Limited Chairman and the Mayor of Sitges unveil statue honoring Bacardi founder
September 9, 2009
Hamilton, Bermuda, September 9, 2009 — Facundo L. Bacardi, great-great grandson of the Bacardi founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bacardi Limited, joined Sitges Mayor Jordi Baijet to honor the memory of one of the town’s most distinguished citizens. They honored Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó with the unveiling of a statue celebrating his life, success, and connections to Sitges.
Don Facundo was a merchant born and raised in Sitges who emigrated to Santiago de Cuba in 1830. In 1862, he revolutionized the spirits world with the creation of BACARDI rum, the world’s first light bodied and mixable rum, now the world’s most awarded premium rum and the world’s favorite rum for more than a century.
The Sitges-inspired sculpture by artist Lorenzo Quinn is entitled “Looking into the Future” and will become a permanent fixture on the town’s seaside promenade, the Paseo Marítimo. The one-of-a-kind work has a base of solid stone; on top of which is a large steel circle held up by open hands made of bronze and the Bat, the globally recognized symbol of Bacardi, also known symbol of good luck, fortune and family unity. The base has an embedded plaque with a portrait and explanation of the life and vision of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó. Mr. Quinn created the sculpture using stone from Sitges to represent Don Facundo’s rock solid and enduring values still evident in the Company today. The circle symbolizes the global dimensions of the brand and the Company. The open hands reaching for the sky symbolize letting dreams take flight, with the confidence to succeed.
The Company that Don Facundo founded nearly 150 years ago has grown into Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held and third largest spirits company in the world today, which produces and markets a variety of internationally recognized spirits, with a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels and a presence in more than 100 countries.
The statue unveiling was part of an international gathering of the Bacardi Limited Board of Directors and global senior leaders around the world in Barcelona. The unveiling event was hosted by Facundo L. Bacardi, a fifth-generation direct descendant of the Company founder; Séamus McBride, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bacardi Limited; and the Honorable Jordi Baijet, Mayor of Sitges.
“As a descendant of Don Facundo and representing all the Bacardi family, I am extremely proud that our family and great business started here in Sitges. The legacy and inspiration that has been built on and passed on from generation to generation has stayed true to the dream and vision of one man: Don Facundo Bacardí,” said Mr. Bacardi. “For that, we thank the city of Sitges for being so kind to us. This statue will act as an eternal reminder of where Don Facundo started his journey from Sitges to greatness nearly 200 years ago.”
“I feel immensely proud to be the present custodian of our great company, and privileged to be here in Sitges, the birth place of Don Facundo. This is the place where the journey started and is a spiritual home for all of our people,” added Mr. McBride. “Let’s keep the bat flying at its highest level, inspired by Don Facundo’s legacy.”
The Bacardi Connection with Sitges and Spain
Don Facundo left his home on St. Pere Street in Sitges to emigrate to Cuba. There he realized his dream of creating the world’s first clear, aged rum. He briefly returned to Sitges in 1852 after a devastating earthquake ravaged Santiago de Cuba, only to return to Cuba determined to make his rum the world’s favorite. During his return in Sitges he resided on Parellades Street. Recently, the City Hall of Sitges has designated both homes with historical markers.
Spain has always been an integral part in the success and history of Bacardi. In 1888, BACARDI rums were awarded a gold medal at the Exposición Universal de Barcelona where the Regent, Her Majesty the Queen María Cristina granted the Company the honor of “Purveyors to the Royal Spanish Household.” In 1910, Bacardi became Cuba’s first multinational company when it opened its first manufacturing operation outside Cuba in Barcelona, reinforcing the close personal and business ties with Spain. Today, Bacardi España S.A. is headquartered in Mollet de Valles in Barcelona.
Don Facundo’s Masterpiece
Don Facundo revolutionized the way rum was made by taking what was then a crude spirit and refining it to his distinct specification for sophisticated drinkers. He was a pioneer – the first to redistill a number of times to produce a much purer and lighter rum and later aged it in oak casks for smoothness. He isolated a specific strain of yeast continuously used to this day which gives BACARDI its mixable flavor. He also filtered his rum through charcoal to extract unwanted impurities. The result was BACARDI Superior, the first clear, aged rum.
To date, BACARDI is the most awarded premium rum in the world. Its purity and perfect balance inspired the creation of some of the world’s most popular cocktails – the Mojito, the Daiquirí, the Cuba Libre, and Piña Colada – were all originated with BACARDI rum.
About Facundo L. Bacardi
Facundo L. Bacardi, 42, has been Chairman of the Board of the Company since 2005. Mr. Bacardi is president of Apache Capital LLC, an investment company based in Coral Gables, Florida, that invests in a broad diversified class of public and private assets. He is also a trustee of Northwestern Mutual, the largest direct seller of life insurance in the United States, a trustee of the Lubee Foundation, an international non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve fruit and nectar bats and their habitats through conservation, research and education and serves as the executive director of the Facundo and Amalia Bacardi Foundation whose mission is to provide for the general well-being of South Florida by supporting education, health, food and housing, and environmental programs.
About Séamus McBride
Séamus McBride, 54, was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Bacardi Limited September 2008. He has nearly 30 years of global management experience in the consumer goods industry, including marketing, commercial operations and systems. Throughout a 23-year career with Colgate-Palmolive Company, he had a variety of roles with increasing responsibility in North America, Europe and Asia. At Colgate, he served as Executive Vice-President and President, North America and worldwide commercial effectiveness. He led Colgate’s business operations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He also spent four years as the marketing director for beer producer, Bass Plc.
About Lorenzo Quinn
Lorenzo Quinn was born in Rome in 1966 and grew up in the United States and Italy. In Italy, he developed a great appreciation of art. When he was 21 years old he earned the respect of the artistic community in New York when he was commissioned by the United Nations. This work led to him creating artwork for the Vatican. In celebration of the eight-hundredth year after the death of Saint Anthony, the Vatican asked him to create a sculpture of the saint, which was later placed in the saint’s basilica in Padua. It is one of the most highly-visited works in the city. He has had exhibitions on all five continents and presently has prestigious shows planned in several countries. His work reflects the search for a united world, full of emotions and values that are often forgotten.
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About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally recognized spirits. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels, including: BACARDI® rum, the world’s number-one selling premium rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super-premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Scotch whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued premium gin in the world; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the top-selling premium tequila worldwide; MARTINI & ROSSI® vermouth, the world-leader in vermouth; and other leading brands. For additional information, please visit www.bacardilimited.com.