Big news out of the Canadian whisky industry.
Gruppo Campari, the sixth-largest spirits company in the world, has purchased Forty Creek Distillery, makers of a range of quality Canadian whisky, for $185.6M.
From the release: Gruppo Campari has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Forty Creek Distillery Ltd. (‘FCD’), the producer of award winning premium Canadian whiskies. Its flagship brand Forty Creek Whisky is the fastest growing brand in the Canadian whisky category and is well positioned in the USA, one of the Group’s key markets.
Further details about the deal: “The acquired business includes the full portfolio of FCD: the stocks, the distillery facilities and a Hospitality Center located in Grimsby, Ontario. FCD brand portfolio includes whisky, vodka, brandy, rum and liqueurs, with Forty Creek Whisky as its core brand. The Forty Creek whisky family includes Barrel Select, Copper Pot Reserve, Forty Creek Cream Whisky and offers high-end, limited releases including Forty Creek Confederation Oak, Double Barrel and an annual special John K. Hall Reserve release. Forty Creek whiskies are 3-Time Canadian Whisky of the Year champions at the Canadian Whisky Awards (2010-12) and recently captured five gold medals as Best Tasting Whiskies at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago (2014).”
John Hall, the founder and whisky maker at Forty Creek had this to say:
“Today’s deal represents a milestone for myself and the entire Forty Creek team. I believe this opportunity will further support Forty Creek’s vision to produce unique, quality, handcrafted, Canadian-made spirits. Campari has the global ability to take Forty Creek to the next level. Introducing customers around the world to my whisky is a dream come true. I am very excited to continue to devote my time to whisky making at Forty Creek distillery, continuing my whisky journey and exploring my passion for additional Forty Creek whisky expressions. In addition, I am proud to note today’s announcement ensures even greater added economic value to both the Ontario and Canadian economy through Campari’s investment in the Grimsby distillery and the Forty Creek family of brands.”
Hall will be staying on as Forty Creek’s chairman and whisky maker.
Noted Canadian whisky expert Davin De Kergommeaux offers a bit of background on the deal at Whisky Advocate.