Bacardi Limited agrees Patrón acquisition

Bacardi Limited has agreed to acquire 100% ownership of Patrón Spirits International AG and its Patrón brand, one of the world’s leading premium tequilas.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, reflects an enterprise value for Patrón of US$5.1b and is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

“Adding Patrón to the Bacardi portfolio creates a tremendous opportunity for the brand outside of the US as Bacardi’s international distribution network will help grow Patrón around the world, increasing scale in the US and globally,” said Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi Limited.

The Patrón leadership team, including CEO Edward Brown, chief operating officer David R. Wilson, and chief marketing officer Lee Applbaum, will continue in their roles.

Bacardi Limited originally bought a minority stake in the company in 2008 and prior to the announcement of this acquisition, the company already owned 25% of the tequila brand. According to the most recent IWSR data, this transaction will make Bacardi the number one spirits company in the super-premium segment and second largest spirits company in market share by value in the US.

Barry Kabalkin, vice chairman of Bacardi Limited and a member of the board of directors of Patrón since 2008, said: “Working with the extraordinary team at Patrón, for whom we have the highest possible respect, we will stay true to our shared values.

“That’s a promise I made to John Paul Mitchell (of shampoo fame) a one-of-a-kind visionary, and to Ed Brown, who over a period of nearly 20 years has successfully turned Patrón into an industry phenomenon."

Euromonitor International’s drinks, tobacco and packaging project manager Jeremy Cunnington said: “There is little surprise in Bacardi’s acquisition of Patron due to its existing minority stake in the company and the fact that all its major rivals have a super-premium tequila brand.

“The price, while seemingly high, too is not a surprise, with the dearth of high quality brands available making it a sellers’ market. At least this one has the advantage of buying an established brand and with strong revenues rather than potential as many of the other recent acquisitions such as Diageo’s one of Casamigos or Pernod’s of Smooth Ambler bourbon/other US whiskey and thus a better chance of getting a return on investment.

“While the purchase will broaden the category spread of Bacardi and give a much needed premiumisation boost to its portfolio. Nevertheless the US centric brand will do nothing to help Bacardi’s other major weakness which is a narrow geographic spread based on North America and Western Europe,” said Cunnington.

Parón is one of three tequila brands listed in Drinks International’s Millionaires' Club, recording 2.5m, 9-litre cases in 2016.

On top of this significant acquisition, Bacardi Limited already owns premium spirits brands; Bacardi, Grey Goose, Bombay Saphire, Dewar’s and Martini.