Diageo India invests in premium gin producer Nao Spirits

United Spirits Limited (Diageo India) has announced an investment of INR 31.5 crores (US$ 4.1m) to acquire a strategic minority stake in Nao Spirits.

The deal will see Diageo India hold 22.5% of the equity share capital of the company and a call option to acquire the remaining shares on pre-agreed principles.

Launched in 2016 by Anand Virmani, Nao Spirits is an emerging premium gin company in India, which owns brands Greater Than and Hapusa. 

Greater Than is made from nine botanicals and is the only London dry gin from South Asia recognised by the Gin Guild, UK while the super premium Hapusa is made with Himalayan juniper.

“As a company built from founder-led brands, we are excited to make our first move in India to support bold and path-breaking entrepreneurs,” said Hina Nagarajan, MD and CEO, Diageo India. 

“Over the last three years, the Indian market has witnessed the emergence of multiple craft gin players and Nao Spirits has been a game changer in the category.”

Anand Virmani, co-founder and CEO of Nao Spirits, added: “This investment is a validation of the hard work, creativity, grit and passion of our team. As we look to chart the next phase of growth of Nao Spirits, the investment from Diageo India will help scale our business, improve efficiencies, and access mentorship from an industry leader, which will be immensely valuable.”