Pernod Ricard has acquired a majority stake in Rabbit Hole Whiskey as it looks to boost its presence in the bourbon category.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Rabbit Hole makes a range of whiskies and a gin. As part of the partnership, founder Kaveh Zamanian is retaining the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the brand.
The deal has been carried out by Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures division. In the US, Rabbit Hole will be part of the New Brand Ventures portfolio along with recently acquired brands Smooth Ambler and Del Maguey.
According to France-headquartered Pernod Ricard, the bourbon category is “currently undergoing a renaissance” as new consumers discover its “quality and versatility”.
“This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value,” said Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard.
“Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit. Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories. We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.”
Kaveh Zamanian added: “Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned. By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American whiskey.
“In partnership with Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”
Pernod Ricard – the owner of Jameson whiskey and Absolut vodka – earlier this year acquired Italian premium gin brand Malfy.
As part of sustainability commitments, Pernod Ricard has pledged to move to 100% recyclable, compostable, reusable or bio-based packaging by 2025. By 2030, it also aims to reduce the overall intensity of its carbon footprint by 50% in line with the Science-Based Targets initiative.
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