Published On 06/14/2019

Pernod Ricard adds Bourbon to its portfolio with super premium brand Rabbit Hole

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Pernod Ricard adds Bourbon to its portfolio with super premium brand Rabbit Hole 

Partnership with fast-growing, high-potential brands is the latest in a series of 
successful deals illustrating the Group’s active portfolio management, 
part of its three-year strategic plan “Transform & Accelerate”

 

Pernod Ricard, through Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures division, is delighted to announce yesterday’s signing of the agreement for the acquisition of a majority share of Rabbit Hole Whiskey, produced and based in Louisville, Kentucky. 
 
Rabbit Hole, an award-winning range of Kentucky spirits, is particularly recognized for its iconic, state-of-the-art distillery in the heart of Louisville. The brand’s Straight Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are crafted with a mix of carefully selected grains, distilled in copper Vendome column stills and aged in native oak barrels by Louisville’s hot summers and cold winters.  The Bourbon category is currently undergoing a renaissance; new consumers are discovering its quality and versatility as Bourbon can be appreciated neat and has also recently earned its rightful place in modern mixology. 

As was the case with previous successful partnerships such as Monkey 47 super premium gin, Smooth Ambler West Virginian whiskey and Del Maguey mezcal, Pernod Ricard is joining forces with a passionate entrepreneur, Kaveh Zamanian. The founder of Rabbit Hole left his day job as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst to fully dedicate himself to the art of crafting whiskey in the very heart of Kentucky’s whiskey culture. As part of the strategic partnership, Kaveh is keeping the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the company.  

With this strategic partnership, Pernod Ricard expands its newly created portfolio of specialty brands, gathering smaller brands with unique and comprehensive value propositions and select distribution. In the United States, Rabbit Hole will be part of the New Brand Ventures portfolio along with 
recently-acquired brands Smooth Ambler and Del Maguey.

For Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard, “This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value. Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit.  Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end Bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories. We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.” 

Kaveh Zamanian added, “Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned. By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American Whiskey. In partnership with Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”
This transaction is expected to close shortly. 
 

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About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €9,182 million in FY19. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has developed through organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 19,000 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s three-year strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders. The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics. As illustrated by the 2030 roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “We bring good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis and is ranked No. 1 in the beverage sector in Vigeo Eiris. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nation’s Global Compact LEAD company.
Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN Code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

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