Jack Daniel’s firm to buy BenRiach for £285m

Kentucky-based spirits and wine group Brown-Forman Corporation — known for its Jack Daniel’s brand — said it agreed to buy The BenRiach Distillery Company for £285 million.

The deal will bring three single malt Scotch Whisky brands into Brown-Forman’s whisky portfolio — The GlenDronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh.

The acquisition will include brand trademarks, three malt distilleries, a bottling plant, and the company’s headquarters in Newbirdge on the west side of Edinburgh.

BenRiach has a workforce of 165 employees including 55 seasonal and casual workers and will now operate as a subsidiary of Brown-Forman.

“The acquisition of these super premium brands will allow Brown-Forman to re-enter one of our industry’s most exciting and consistent growth segments, Single Malt Scotch Whisky,” said Brown-Forman chief executive Paul Varga.

“The GlenDronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh single malt brands are rich in history and we believe they will continue to prosper and grow in our hands.”

Varga said Brown-Forman was previously a minority shareholder of Glenmorangie plc and marketed the Glenmorangie single malt whisky brand in the US and Canada from 1992 to 2005 and in continental Europe and some Asian markets from 2000 to 2005.

Louisville-based Brown-Forman said it sold its interest as part of Glenmorangie plc’s sale to Moet Hennessy in 2005.

“We feel immensely privileged to have been custodians of this business for the last 12 years, and to be associated with these wonderful brands and great distilleries,” said Billy Walker, managing director of The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited.

“Our team have energized these distilleries and engaged creatively and successfully with the premium end of the market.

“We are very confident that Brown-Forman will take The GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh brands to the next level and fulfill their full potential, and prove to be worthy custodians of these historic distilleries.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.