THE VERY IDEA of pouring 720,000 bottles down the drain, rather than down grateful necks, was anathema to the Bacardi family. Certainly it was too much to bear for Emilio Bacardi’s ingenious son Enrique, who came up with a cunning ploy to circumvent the onset of prohibition in 1920.With the entire stock of the company’s Manhattan bottling plant under threat, he launched a share issue that had Wall Street eating out of his hands. And drinking out of his bottles. Enrique sold 60,000 shares in the company and distributed its assets — one case of rum per share — to delighted shareholders. A move that was as smooth as Bacardi itself.
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