AB InBev acquires Atom Group

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/keira01
Pic:getty/keira01
AB InBev has acquired UK spirits company, Atom Group, via its global growth and innovation arm ZX Ventures.

Atom Group consists of three business units: Atom Brands (which produces high-end drinks and spirits); Master of Malt (an online spirits retailer); and Maverick Drinks (sales network for importing to the US).

Atom Brands’ portfolio includes Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin, The Handmade Cocktail Company and Drinks by the Dram.

Atom Brands: 'The opportunities are simply epic'

Atom Group is a "pioneering, disruptive global drinks group encompassing the full life-cycle of spirits", ​starting with the inception, prototyping, production and brand ownership with Atom Brands; through import, distribution and brand development via Maverick Drinks; to global online retail at Master of Malt.

A statement from Atom Brands says: This partnership will allow us to move even faster towards our goals of sourcing and bottling the best whiskies, gins, and other spirits available anywhere, and distributing them to more people than ever before across the globe.

“The implications of this investment in terms of our ability to source and produce the world’s finest spirits really can’t be overstated – the resources, distribution channels and opportunities that are opened up by this deal are simply epic in scale.”

Atom Brands says staff and leadership will remain in place and its overarching mission will remain the same.

“This deal will give us access to the resources needed to scale up our operations considerably – that means more incredible whisky for TBWC, more brands in the Boutique-y stable, the removal of the constraints around creating ever more exciting new brands, and crucially – the ability to bring all of our portfolio to more people  than ever before across the globe.”

Accelerate development

Master of Malt says the deal will allow it to pursue new ideas that would 'take decades to realise' without a partner like ZX Ventures.

“ZX has bought into what we’re doing here, and they want to help us to do more of it,”​ says the company. “We would never have partnered with someone who didn’t believe in what we were doing, or would seek to change it.

“We get to accelerate everything we’re already doing – build better technology, expand our range (because 10,000 different spirits still isn’t enough), and build out even more cool services like Dram Club, Build Your Own Tasting Sets and Gift Vouchers that pay you interest.”

This week Master of Malt stopped shipping direct to consumers in the US, and from now on the only business active in the US will be Maverick Drinks. 

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

ZX Ventures also acquired online beer retailer Beer Hawk in 2016. 

ZX Ventures

ZX Ventures is the global growth and innovation group within AB InBev, the world’s top brewer. Launched in 2015, its mandate is to develop new products and businesses that address emerging consumer needs. Its five divisions are international craft & specialty beer, eCommerce, homebrewing, brand experience, and exploration.

Its brands include Goose Island​ and homebrewing supply business Northern Brewer.​ 

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