The Pernod Ricard subsidiary has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sazerac who’re seeking to purchase the fourth-largest Irish whiskey brand in the world.
In the event of a sale IDL would continue producing the brand from its Midleton distillery with no subsequent “impact on roles at Irish Distillers; all employees would remain in place under current terms and conditions,” the company stressed.
Sazerac, one of New Orleans’ oldest family-owned privately-held companies, has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Lewiston, Maine; Manchester, New Hampshire and Montreal in Canada.
“This deal with Sazerac, if completed, would allow Irish whiskey’s reputation and footprint to grow further internationally,” commented IDL’s Chairperson and Chief Executive Anna Malmhake.
The proposed divestment of Paddy, thought to be worth €90 million, remains in line with Pernod Ricard’s strategy of simplifying its portfolio for growth and could facilitate, among other things, targeted investment in other key Irish Distillers’ whiskey brands including Jameson and Powers to support continued growth.
Paddy Irish Whiskey sells 200,000 nine-litre cases in 28 countries worldwide annually. As the Irish whiskey industry is projecting 100% growth by 2020, an acquisition of the Paddy brand by Sazerac would ensure that the brand is positioned for sizeable investment to support its future growth.
Commenting on the proposed deal, Mark Brown, President and Chief Executive of Sazerac, said, “In the global market, Irish whiskey experienced the fastest volume growth in the last five years, outpacing all other spirits categories. Consumers worldwide are seeing it as an alternative to other whiskies. If this deal goes through, we’re confident that we’ll be able to take Paddy to the next level, building on its strong history and roots”.
Subject to pending negotiations, Irish Distillers and Sazerac expect to sign and complete the transaction simultaneously in the following weeks. An announcement will be made if and when the transaction is complete.