Black Velvet is the second-largest selling Canadian whisky in the world, produced in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
The acquisition includes all the distilling operations, aging and bottling facilities in Lethbridge and the remaining portfolio of Canadian Whisky brands which are also produced at the facility: including MacNaughton, McMasters, and the international business of the Schenley brands – Golden Wedding and OFC.
Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands president and CEO, said: “This decision aligns with our consumer-led premiumization strategy to deliver accelerated growth and shareholder value as we continue to focus our wine and spirits portfolio on higher-end, fast-growing brands.
“For Heaven Hill, Black Velvet is a historic, well-known, and high-volume brand that complements their broad distilled spirits portfolio and aligns with their business strategy.”
Heaven Hill Brands is the largest independent family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier in the US, with brands including Evan Williams Bourbon, Burnett’s Vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka, Christian Brothers Brandies and Admiral Nelson’s Rums.
Max L. Shapira, President of Heaven Hill Brands, said Black Velvet will fill an important gap in its distilled spirits portfolio by expanding sales in the imported whisky category.
“As we continue to build our business based on strategic acquisitions and innovation, Heaven Hill’s commitment to quality continues to steer the positive outlook for our diverse portfolio,” he said.
The Canadian Whisky category reaches approximately 16.8m cases, with Black Velvet volume representing nearly two million cases in the US in 2018.