Nawaf Salameh

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Nawaf Salameh
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BornSeptember 14th, 1965
Marmarita, Siria
  • Founding Owner Chairman of the Board at Alexandrion Group NS
  • Sons Global Investment
  • Businessman

Nawaf Salameh (born September 14th, 1965, Marmarita, Syria) is a Romanian businessman, founder and Chairman of the Alexandrion Group, the largest alcoholic beverages producer in Romania[1]. He is also founder and president of the Alexandrion Foundation and founder and owner of the NS & Sons Global Investment.

Early life

Nawaf Salameh was born on September 14, 1965 in Marmarita, a locality in the area called Christian Valley [2] in northwestern Syria. He is the third son of the five of the Salameh family. His father was a drug dealer and the owner of a pharmacy chain.

Nawaf Salameh attended primary and secondary school in Marmarita, followed by high school at Hanna Bassam High School, in the same locality.

After graduating from high school and obtaining a bachelor's degree in 1983, Nawaf Salameh’s parents decided that he should continue his university studies in Romania[3]. After a year of adaptation in which he learned the Romanian language, Nawaf Salameh was admitted to the Medical Faculty of the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest.


In 1992, Dr. Nawaf Salameh completed his studies while being resident at the University Hospital and having his own office in Athens. During this period, a businessman from Cyprus proposed to export chocolate to Ukraine, and Nawaf Salameh invested $ 14,000 in two chocolate-laden trucks to sell there. He returned with $ 21,000. In the same year, he received another business proposal from a producer in Crete to invest in his small factory producing two drinks: Alexandrion and Kreskova. After visiting the 600 square meter-factory in Crete in 1993 and its family-style production, which reminded him of his Syrian home, Dr. Salameh eventually agreed to do business with this Greek producer and his partner.



In a period when changes from the fall of totalitarian political regimes, including in Romania, made the business field trendy and the free market’s benefits attractive to many young intellectuals, Nawaf Salameh decided to try changing his personal and professional plan. He started working for his own businesses first in Greece and Cyprus and then, shortly after, in Romania.

In 1992, Dr. Nawaf Salameh completed his studies while being resident at the University Hospital and having his own office in Athens. During this period, a businessman from Cyprus proposed to export chocolate to Ukraine, and Nawaf Salameh invested $ 14,000 in two chocolate-laden trucks to sell there. He returned with $ 21,000. His partner proposed to repeat the deal. Because the manufacturer did not want to credit him, Nawaf Salameh obtained a check worth $ 1 million from the bank in order to guarantee the manufacturer and start exporting. In the same year, he received another business proposal from a producer in Crete to invest in his small factory producing two drinks: Alexandrion and Kreskova. But despite his efforts, he did not persuade Dr. Salameh to enter the business. At the producer’s insistence, Dr. Salameh agreed to visit the small factory in Crete in 1993. The 600 square meter-factory had only two employees: the one who made the proposal to Nawaf Salameh and his partner. Yet even after visiting the factory and the cramped office, the doctor was not convinced. Only after leaving the factory, something happened.

"It was summer, the windows of the car were open. On the way, all the passers-by greeted the factory owner. This moment reminded me of where I was born. There, about two kilometers away, I was greeted by about 50 people. Mostly relatives, uncles, aunts, cousins ​​and cousins. This was the moment when I decided to do business with the two Greeks. ”

Alexandrion Group (1994-2009)

Nawaf Salameh bought most of the Alkon factory (opened in 1989 in Crete) with $ 20,000[4], thus becoming a majority shareholder, and began bringing its products to the Romanian market. He was already beginning to outline his vision for the future factory to be built later in the village of Pleașa in the commune of Bucov, Prahova County, Romania. In 2000, production moved to Romania and the company was named Alexandrion, inspired by Alexander the Great and in honor of the original product.

Later, Nawaf Salameh bought about 20 hectares of land in the village of Pleașa, in the commune of Bucov, in Prahova County, Romania, and began to build distilleries and a large wine cellar. Negotiations were also under way for the acquisition of two factories which would later become part of the Alexandrion family: the Alexander factory in Iași - opened since 1990 - and the SAB factory in Rădăuți, Suceava - the alcohol factory which has been operating since 1789.

At the same time, Nawaf Salameh developed his business strategy and began the steps for the production of Brâncoveanu Vinars, which would become the company's premium product and brand. After four years of negotiations, the two factories, Alexander and SAB, entered the Alexandrion family, bringing their experience and history with them. After years of maturing, Brâncoveanu was first tasted during a grand launch event in. 2006 at the Romanian National Opera, Bucharest[5]. In the next five years, Brâncoveanu vinar became the most appreciated product in its category in Romania.

Global expansion (2009 - present)

2007 enlargement of the European Union entry into the European Union opened up the market for Romanian business. Alexandrion immediately developed partnerships with the world's largest producers of alcoholic beverages, allowing Alexandrion products to reach the major markets of the world, and those of its partners to enter the Romanian market. In 2017, Alexandrion became Alexandrion Group. The global operations office in Cyprus opened then, adding to the distilleries and the Romanian company before soon adding operations in Brazil and the United States[6]

In June 2018, Alexandrion Group and NS & Sons Global Investment introduce a new corporate structure[7] and make a series of investments[8] in the sectors miscellaneous: building materials (Sidera Quartz), real estate, hospitality[9] (New Montana Hotel & Spa and Pensiunea Rhein), tourism, retail (with 6 stores: 2 in Bucharest (Mihai Bravu and Ion Mihalache), 2 in Ploiești, 1 in Sinaia and 1 in Azuga) and agriculture (Domeniile Salameh which owns 2.5 hectares of lands).

Also in 2018, the acquisition of Halewood Wines & Spirits Romania brought six new companies in the field of wine production, 200 new employees and 200 hectares of vineyards producing about 5 million liters of wine yearly[10]. The same year, Alexandrion group received approval from US authorities to build the first US distillery in Carmel, New York, with an initial investment of $ 100 million[11]. After construction is complete, by 2020, the new distillery will produce premium spirits, tailored to the U.S. market, such as whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy and vodka. These products will be distributed in the U.S., but will also be exported to the 50 countries where the group currently distributes its existing portfolio. In 2019, another major acquisition was made: Cavaway Wines and Drinks Trading LTD, a distributor of local and imported beverages in Cyprus.

Currently, Alexandrion Group has offices and branches in Romania, Cyprus, the United States and Brazil.

Single Malt Society

Over the years, Nawaf Salameh took on the role of supporting the Romanian consumer’s education so that they better know, taste and understand whiskey consumption, ultimately leading to the creation of the Single Malt Society in Romania in 2016.

The Single Malt Society has a know-how of over 20 years in the field and Nawaf Salameh is the only representative from Eastern Europe who was invested with the title[12] by Keeper of the Quaich in 2016, for his contributions in promoting whiskey locally. Through the recognition offered, the Single Malt Society[13] borrows from the values ​​of this Scottish organization so distinguished and to which very few people around the world have access, emphasizing quality, passion and refinement.

The mission of the Single Malt Society is to bring together single malt enthusiasts with those who are just discovering the unique flavor of this drink. The Single Malt Society is the largest single malt community in Romania, a community where members have access to constantly updated information on this type of whiskey and premium experiences.

Alexandrion Foundation

Nawaf Salameh established the Alexandrion Foundation in 2003 to take over the social responsibilities and humanitarian activities carried out by Alexandrion Group. The foundation provides a dedicated infrastructure to carry projects such as the Constantin Brâncoveanu Awards, the Matei Brâncoveanu Awards, The Sinaia Debates and the Alexandrion Trophies[14].

Private life

The Christian community of Marmarita, Syria, where Nawaf Salameh was born, aggregated long before the establishment of the first nucleus of followers of Islam. This settlement, nested in a mountainous area, was founded by five families whose descendants, over generations, can still be found in the Homs vicinity or in various neighboring localities. The Salameh family is one of them. Nawaf Salameh’s father, Mtanios Salameh, a pharmacist, has been active for the peace and wellbeing of the inhabitants of Marmarita for over 55 years. Reda Salameh, Nawaf Salameh's mother, died in 2013. Reda and Mtanios Salameh had five children. Nawaf Salameh is married and has three children.

In the media



  1. Mihail Tănase (August 5 2013). „Alexandrion joaca la mai multe maini pe piata bauturilor spirtoase”. Progresiv Magazin
  2. Monica Andronescu. „Nawaf Salameh, de pe Valea Creștinilor din Siria, în țara lui Brâncoveanu”
  3. Bianca Moru, Fondatorul imperiului Alexandrion, sirianul cu inimă de român și rețeta unui doctor care a construit o afacere de sute de milioane de euro din alcool
  4. "O corporaţie de care putem fi mândri - ALEXANDRION GROUP ROM NIA", Ardealul de Succes
  5. Vinarsul Brancoveanu s-a lansat cu DDB Bucuresti,
  6. Mădălina Panaete, Grupul Alexandrion şi-a deschis filială în Cipru şi face pasul către extindere. „Ne uităm la Brazilia şi SUA“, Ziarul Financiar
  7. Mădălina Panaete, Alexandrion Group îşi schimbă structura de conducere şi continuă expansiunea la nivel global „Compania va rămâne una de familie”, Ziarul Financiar
  8. Schimbari in structura de conducere a Alexandrion Group, Horeca Insight
  9. Mihail Tănase, Alexandrion a preluat New Montana și vrea să dezvolte un lanț de zece hoteluri, Trends HRB
  10. Afrodita Cicovschi, Consiliul Concurenţei a aprobat tranzacţia prin care Alexandrion Group preia portofoliul de vinuri româneşti a grupului Halewood, Adevărul
  11. Grupul Alexandrion investește 100 milioane dolari într-o distilerie din New York,
  12. Nicola Carruthers, Keepers of the Quaich inducts five Masters, The Spirits Business
  13. Adriana Popescu, Alexandrion Group a lansat oficial Single Malt Society și la București,
  14. Gala Trofeelor Alexandrion si-a ales castigatorii celei de-a treia editii, Sport Total

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