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Pernod Ricard acquires majority stake in Avión Spirits as it targets US for growth

Published:  14 July, 2014

Pernod Ricard has made its second major acquisition this year with its almost $100 million investment to acquire an 84% stake in Avión Spirits.

Pernod Ricard already held a 20% stake in Avión Spirits, which it acquired through a joint venture deal that was established in 2011. Avión Spirits is the maker of Avión tequila, an ultra-premium brand in the US market that sells for up to $150 per bottle.

The group has also recently bought the Californian wine producer, Kenwood Vineyards, as it eyes the US market as an opportunity for growth. 

The Avión move is the latest step in establishing Pernod Ricard as a premium supplier of both wine and spirits.  "This transaction reflects Pernod Ricard's confidence in Avión's brand equity and growth potential, and the brand's important role in Pernod Ricard's growth ambitions in the United States, the largest market of the group," it said in a statement. 

Bryan Fry, chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard USA, added: "Avión has delivered execellent results since the creation of the joint- venture in 2011.  Avión is an important brand in Pernod Ricard USA's portfolio and we have a great confidence in its future. With our increase in ownership we are pleased to further strengthen this partnership to continue to build a successful brand."

Ken Austin, founder and chairman of Tequila Avión, said: "With this move, Pernod Ricard is displaying significant confidence in Avión and the role it will play in bolstering their position in the United States."

Prior to its acquisition of Kenwood Vineyards, Pernod Ricard had not made a major acquisition since 2008 when it acquired Absolut Vodka for €5.7 billion.