Bacardi to acquire super-premium tequila Patrón

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Patron was founded in 1989 and is now valued at $5.1bn
Patron was founded in 1989 and is now valued at $5.1bn

Related tags: Chief executive officer, Executive officer, Management occupations

Bacardi will acquire Patrón Spirits International AG and its ultra-premium tequila Patrón, valuing the company at $5.1bn.

Founded in 1989 by entrepreneurs John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley, Patrón’s portfolio includes Patrón, Roca Patrón, Gran Patrón, XO Café, Citronge, Pyrat and Ultimat, alongside limited edition spirits. Its flagship products are sold in more than 100 countries.

Bacardi acquired a significant minority stake in Patrón in 2008 and will now take full ownership of the company. This will make Bacardi the number one spirits player in the US super-premium sector, and the second largest spirits company in market share by value.

“Tequila is one of the fastest-growing and most attractive categories in the spirits industry, with Patrón being the clear market leader in the super-premium segment,”​ says a statement from Bacardi.

Premium tequila

Pernod Ricard acquired the remaining stake in ultra-premium tequila Avion​ this month, having taken a majority interest in the brand in 2014. 

Last year Diageo bought George Clooney's ultra-premium Casamigos​ tequila brand in a deal that valued the brand at $1bn. 

“Super-premium brands continue to experience the fastest growth, and the trend is expected to continue.”

The Patrón leadership team, including chief executive officer Edward Brown, chief operating officer David R. Wilson, and chief marketing officer Lee Applbaum, will continue in their roles. DeJoria will serve as an ambassador for Patrón in the role of Chairman Emeritus and will work with Bacardi in advancing philanthropic projects and environmental consciousness.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

Sellers market

Jeremy Cunnington, Project Manager for drinks, tobacco and packaging, at Euromonitor International, said the acquisition does not come as a surprise given that other big spirits companies are turning to super-premium tequila as well. 

"The price, while seemingly high, too is not a surprise, with the dearth of high quality brands available making it a sellers market," ​he said. 

Whereas some other recent acquisitions in the spirits sector have focused on the potential of emerging brands, Bacardi's acquisition of Patron has the advantage of taking on an established brand with strong revenues, he added.

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