Bacardi’s acquisition of Patrón Spirits mixes rum with tequila

Bacardi Ltd.’s acquisition of Patrón Spirits International will bring it an array of tequila and liqueur brands.
Bacardi Ltd.’s acquisition of Patrón Spirits International will bring it an array of tequila and liqueur brands. Courtesy Bacardi

Bacardi Limited will add the world’s top-selling ultra-premium tequila brand to its portfolio with the acquisition of Patrón Spirits International.

The deal for Patrón and its Patrón brand tequila is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and will give Bermuda-based Bacardi 100 percent ownership of the company. Bacardi has held a minority stake in Patrón since 2008.

“Patrón is one of the world’s most coveted spirits brands, and we are thrilled to take our longstanding relationship to the next level,” said Barry Kabalkin, Bacardi vice chairman and a Patrón board member.

With the acquisition, family-owned Bacardi will become the top spirits company in the super-premium category in the United States and the second largest in market share in the U.S., according to IWSR, which provides data and analysis on the beverage alcohol market. The transaction reflects a total value for Patrón of $5.1 billion.

Patrón, which was founded in 1989, produces more than 3 million cases of distilled spirits annually and its tequilas, vodkas and liqueurs are available in more than 100 countries.

“Adding Patrón to the Bacardi portfolio creates a tremendous opportunity for the brand outside of the United States as Bacardi’s international distribution network will help grow Patrón around the world, increasing scale in the U.S. and globally,” said Mahesh Madhavan, chief executive of Bacardi Ltd.

Patrón was founded by entrepreneurs John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley whose goal was to create a tequila that was “simply perfect.”

Bacardi, which began as a rum manufacturer in Santiago de Cuba nearly 156 years ago, has moved well beyond its signature rum. Its brands also include Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Dewar’s Scotch whiskey, Martini vermouth and sparkling wines and Cazadores and Corzo tequilas as well as emerging spirits.

Patrón Chief Executive Edward Brown, Chief Operating Officer David R. Wilson, and Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum, will continue in their roles. After the deal closes, DeJoria will serve as an ambassador for Patrón in the role of chairman emeritus.