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Bacardi buys Patrón for $5 billion

23 January 2018

Bacardi has agreed to buy out Patron Spirits International in a deal valuing the top high-end tequila maker at $5.1-billion, highlighting the appetite big drinks groups have for the Mexican spirit.

Bacardi has held a "significant minority stake" in Patrón since 2008, and the two companies enjoy a close relationship, but the Tequila maker will now join the likes of Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire in the Bacardi portfolio.

Patrón Spirits International is known for its premium tequila, packaged in distinctive dome-shaped bottles.

The acquisition marks the first major deal under Bacardi's Mahesh Madhavan, who was appointed chief executive in October.

The deal will make Bacardi the No. 1 spirits player in the super-premium segment in the US and the second largest spirits company in market share by value in the USA, the company said, citing IWSR data.

Tequila has been a very fast-growing category, which has benefited from consumers' shifting taste away from beer and vodka.

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Much like the recent boom in gin brands and gin cocktails, the WSTA said tequila was now being consumed in a completely different way.

Agave-based beverages, which include tequila and mezcal, have seen sales accelerate over the past decade. According to council spokesman Frank Coleman, total tequila sales in the US jumped 120% between 2002 and 2016.

Patrón leadership team, including Chief Executive Officer Edward Brown, Chief Operating Officer David Wilson, and Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum, will continue in their roles.

The deal comes days after Pernod Ricard bought out Avion Tequila and months after Diageo bought George Clooney's Casamigos tequila for up to $1-billion.

The deal with Bacardi helps cement tequila's status as a key product in the global market for spirits.

Bacardi buys Patrón for $5 billion