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William Grant & Sons Acquires Drambuie Liqueur

September 8, 2014

William Grant & Sons has bolstered its liqueurs stable with the acquisition of Drambuie Liqueur Company Ltd. and its namesake brand. The seller was Scotland’s MacKinnon family and the price was undisclosed, although there was speculation earlier this summer that bids would be in the area of £100 million ($161m).

Known for its part in the Rusty Nail cocktail, Drambuie—whose history dates to 1745—posted net sales down 3% to £22 million ($37m) in its full fiscal year to June 2013. According to Impact Databank, the brand was down 12% to 61,000 cases in the U.S. in 2013, where it’s currently handled by Bacardi USA.

Drambuie joins a William Grant & Sons liqueurs portfolio that includes Italy’s Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, as well as chili-flavored Mexican offering Ancho Reyes, which launched this spring at around $33 a 750-ml. bottle.

“Drambuie is a natural fit for our portfolio,” said William Grant & Sons’ chief executive Stella David. “It has a very rich history and a great story to tell, and we are delighted to be in a position to start to re-engage with existing drinkers and to connect the brand with an entirely new generation of consumers.”

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