Del Maguey makes distinctive mezcals that can be traced back to the village where they were produced.
Pernod Ricard has bought into the spirit mezcal for the first time, acquiring a majority stake in Mexican producer Del Maguey.
Oaxaca-based Del Maguey makes artisan, handcrafted mezcal from a single origin – or ‘Single Village’ mezcal as it’s described on the bottle, referring to the fact that each drop can be sourced back to the community that made it.
The acquisition is timely; the agave spirit, popular in Mexico, has enjoyed a surge in demand north of the border in recent years. Global sales of the drink rose to a record $80 million in 2015, with US volumes jumping 279% over ten years.
Del Maguey founder Ron Cooper said: “We partnered with Pernod Ricard because they understand and appreciate our mission of preserving the culture of the Zapotec people and protecting the traditional process of making mezcal. Through this partnership, our management team will gain increased opportunities to distribute our products to mezcal lovers around the world while also ensuring that the palenqueros – or families we work with – are able to continue crafting their liquid art for generations to come.”
Cooper, along with management team Michael Gardner and Steve Olson, will remain in place at Del Maguey.
The deal – expected to close within 90 days – will be completed through Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures division.
Jeff Agdern, senior vice-president of the ventures division, said: “Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal is highly respected by consumers and the industry for its brand authenticity and relationships with local farmer producers.”
And Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard added: “We are very impressed by Del Maguey’s successful track record and the high quality of their mezcals. This partnership illustrates our continued strategy of partnering with dynamic entrepreneurs who share our passion for authentic, high-quality crafted premium products and further extends our fantastic portfolio of genuine brands.”
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