Hiram Walker Announces Major Investment in Windsor Facility

 Facility Upgrade Supports Job Growth and Product Innovation  WINDSOR, ON, Feb. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Hiram Walker & Sons Limited today announced  a further investment in its Windsor production and bottling facility, as part  of its $8 million investment in the site this year. The investment, which  includes a significant contribution from the Ontario Government's Rural  Economic Development Program (RED), will allow the facility to produce new  product lines and increase production by 230,000 cases.  With today's  announcement, Hiram Walker & Sons will have invested more than $80 million in  the last 10 years.  With more than 280 employees, the Hiram Walker facility is one of Windsor's  largest employers and the only "grain to glass" operation in Ontario. It also  serves as a North American centre for innovation and new product development,  information technology, procurement and purchasing. Hiram Walker has been  producing spirits in Canada since the 1850s and is the largest producer of  bulk spirits in Canada.  Hiram Walker is wholly owned by Pernod-Ricard S.A. of  Paris, the worldwide co-leader of wine and spirits.  "We have been a strong part of the Windsor manufacturing community for over  150 years, and this investment is part of our continued commitment to the  growth of the company and the region," said Patrick O'Driscoll, President of  Hiram Walker & Sons. "The new production volume will benefit our workforce as  we smooth out the variability in seasonal peaks to offer more stable  employment, and result in enhanced partnership opportunities for our  customers. We want to thank the Government of Ontario for their contribution  and our UNIFOR union partners for their support of this exciting milestone in  our company's history."  The investment in its bottling and blending facilities includes a $1 million  RED grant. The grant was announced today by Hon. Teresa Piruzza, MPP, at a  press conference at the Windsor Hiram Walker facility on behalf of Ontario's  Premier Kathleen Wynne. The Ontario Ministry of Rural Affairs' RED Program is  designed to strengthen and diversify rural economies to enable Ontario to  build strong, vibrant communities and regions. Hiram Walker & Sons currently  supports the Essex and Kent Counties' agriculture industry by purchasing 4.2  million bushels of local grain annually.  "Today's announcement is exciting news for our city and region," said Mayor  Eddie Francis. "The Hiram Walker facility is a landmark in Windsor, both for  its longstanding role as an employer and its contributions to this community.   This investment will not only allow for much needed job stability in our city,  but it will help Hiram Walker attract new production opportunities and expand  its product innovation."  With this investment, Corby Spirit and Wine, which is majority owned by Hiram  Walker & Sons Limited, will transfer the production of some of its brands,  including McGuinness® and Meaghers® liqueurs, to the Hiram Walker facility.  That transfer is expected to begin in the fall of 2014. New equipment will  also allow the plant to manufacture smaller quantities of brands, allowing  greater flexibility for new product innovation.  About Hiram Walker  Established over 150 years ago, Hiram Walker & Sons Limited's tradition of  blending quality ingredients, processes and highly skilled people continues at  the Windsor, Ontario based production facility. Hiram Walker is a subsidiary  of Pernod Ricard S.A., a leading global spirits and wine company with premium  international brands such as ABSOLUT® vodka, Chivas Regal®, The Glenlivet®  and Ballantine's® Scotch whiskies, Jameson® Irish whiskey, Beefeater® gin,  Malibu® rum, Kahlúa® liqueur, Mumm® champagne, and Jacob's Creek® and,  Wyndham Estate® Stoneleigh®, Campo Viejo® and Graffigna® wines. Hiram  Walker produces brands such as, Wiser's®, Lot 40®, and Pike Creek® Canadian  whiskies, Polar Ice® vodka, Malibu® and Lamb's® rums, and Criollo®  liqueurs for Canadian distribution by its affiliate, Corby Spirit and Wine  Limited.    SOURCE  Hiram Walker & Sons Limited  Amandine Robin Director, Communications, Public Relations and CSR Hiram  Walker and Sons Limited Emailamandine.robin@pernod-ricard.com Direct  1-416-479-2492 Mobile 1-416-574-7519  Image with caption: "Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. facility in Windsor, Ontario.  (CNW Group/Hiram Walker & Sons Limited)". Image available at:   http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140228_C8264_PHOTO_EN_37352.jpg  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2014/28/c8264.html  CO: Hiram Walker & Sons Limited ST: Ontario