Constellation Brands has bought a minority stake in Kentucky-based spirits producer Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.
Copper & Kings produces pot-distilled American apple and grape brandies, absinthe and gin. It is owned by beverage entrepreneurs Joe and Lesley Heron and ships to 31 US states.
The move sees Constellation Brands – which saw its wine and spirits sales fall by 10% in its third-quarter results last week – expand in the high-end craft spirits segment. Its other spirits brands include Svedka vodka, Casa Noble tequila and Black Velvet whisky.
Copper & Kings CEO Joe Heron said he was attracted to the shared culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and social responsibility between the two companies.
“In all honesty there could not be a better fit between a small craft distiller and a leader in the beverage alcohol industry like Constellation Brands,” he said.
“We are operating in an increasingly dynamic and changing business environment; distributor consolidation, retailers are embracing smaller, innovative craft spirits and consumers are becoming more adventurous and discerning drinkers.
“We’ve done a lot of hard yards to get to where we are, and we are proud of that, but we now feel the need for some assistance with the heavy lifting required to build a legacy market leader brand and investigate global expansion.”
Constellation Brands chief operating officer Bill Newlands added: “Copper & Kings has a fiercely independent streak. Their entrepreneurship and focus on premium high-end craft spirits aligns closely with our strategy of delivering what the consumer wants.
“Copper & Kings is scalable not only in equity, but also the inventory of aged and aging spirits on hand. We see our role as adding fuel to their fire. And we think it’s going to burn very bright.”
Last October, Constellation Brands paid $191 million for a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a Canadian supplier of medicinal marijuana, as it aims to stay ahead of evolving consumer trends.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
World Dairy Innovation Awards – OPEN FOR EARLY BIRD ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global dairy industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Early bird deadline 19 March – enter now!