Quintessential Brands acquires First Ireland Spirits

European drinks group Quintessential Brands has acquired First Ireland Spirits Company for an undisclosed sum.


The “multi-million €uro investment” forms part of Quintessential Brands’ ongoing strategy to acquire drinks companies that complement its existing portfolio of brands, enhance its industry services and provide additional route to market capabilities in line with Quintessential Brands’ growth and investment plans.

First Ireland Spirits was established in 1993 and employs around 50 people.  Based in Abbeyleix, County Laois, it has an international sales and marketing hub in Dublin.  The company produces and sells over 700,000 cases of Irish cream liqueurs across 35 markets worldwide for some of the world’s largest retailers and drinks companies. It’s Ireland’s leading independent producer of private label Irish cream liqueurs and it’s a leading producer of branded and private label Irish cream liqueurs.

First Ireland Spirits’ main brands include O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream, Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur and The Dubliner Irish Whiskey Liqueur while leading private label clients include SuperValu, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Asda, Walmart and Woolworths (Australia).  It has a presence in markets as diverse as Mexico, Peru, Russia, Nigeria, the US and Germany.

First Ireland Spirits has been a long-term client company of Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia and both of these organisations will continue to support the business going forward.

“The acquisition of First Ireland Spirits offers us an unrivalled foothold in the global market for Irish cream liqueurs and is part of our corporate strategy to become a leading European independent player in the global spirits industry,” commented Quintessential Brands’ Co-founder and Director, former investment banker, Warren Scott, “First Ireland Spirits has been producing fine Irish cream products in Abbeyleix for more than two decades, offering a unique opportunity to build on this heritage and create a true international home for Irish cream in the heart of Ireland.

“With its portfolio of brands, well-established international customer and distribution platforms and excellent production capabilities, First Ireland Spirits will enhance our branded and private label businesses, enhance our route to market capability and open up new opportunities in other dynamic spirits and liqueurs categories. The acquisition by Quintessential Brands offers management and employees of First Ireland Spirits an exciting future as we pursue our ambitious plans to expand our operations in Ireland,” he said.

Owen Brady, one of the founders of First Ireland Spirits, added,  “Having created First Ireland Spirits in 1993 and built the business over the last 20 years it’s an appropriate point in time for First Ireland Spirits to become part of a larger spirits group. As part of Quintessential Brands, First Ireland Spirits will now have the opportunity to grow sales in the international Irish cream markets as well as expand into other Irish spirits categories. I’m very proud of what we’ve built over the years and this deal represents an exciting opportunity for the company and its employees.”

The Quintessential Brands Group was founded by Enzo Visone, former Chief Executive of Gruppo Campari and Warren Scott in 2011. It numbers G&J Distillers, the UK’s leading distiller and bottler of premium gin and vodka (producing 60% of gin in the UK and over 20% of premium gin worldwide) amongst its portfolio of brands.

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