Constellation Brands has acquired a minority stake in two spirit firms for undisclosed sums: the Copper & Kings American Brandy Co and The Real McCoy Rum.
The Real McCoy, a copper pot- distilled, American bourbon barrel-aged rum, will continue to be managed by its CEO, filmmaker Bailey Pryor, and all distribution partners outside the United States will remain the same.
Under the new relationship, the Corona maker will handle the distribution of the barrel-aged rum throughout the US, and will also assist with marketing and operations.
“We are excited about working with Constellation Brands because they clearly understand the marketplace and know how to build brands from the ground up while maintaining product integrity,” said Pryor.
COO John Esposito added: “This doesn’t change who we are or how we go to market. The collaboration with Constellation allows us to reach new consumers, expand distribution and grow brand awareness, all while maintaining the integrity of what The Real McCoy is all about.”
Constellation Brands also announced that it had acquired a minority stake in Copper & Kings, which produces a range of spirits including brandy-based gins and liqueurs.
The craft distiller said it needed financial “assistance” to “keep up” with its current rate of growth.
Joe Heron, Copper & Kings founder and CEO, 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 have 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.
“Brown spirits have a very long-term planning horizon; 10 years or more out. Constellation’s investment will help us move forward with appropriate capital.”
The minor acquisitions come as the company posted its third-quarter financial results which highlighted growth for its recently acquired brands.
Constellation Brands’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Newlands, said: “The spirits category represents a significant growth opportunity for Constellation, and continued investments in artisan brands like The Real McCoy are part of our overall Total Beverage Alcohol strategy.”