June 14, 2019 / 9:31 AM / 3 days ago

Pernod Ricard adds U.S. premium brand Rabbit Hole Whiskey to its portfolio

FILE PHOTO: A Ricard logo is seen on a door at the Ricard manufacturing plant in Lormont, near Bordeaux, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - Pernod Ricard said on Friday it was acquiring Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Whiskey, a high-end whiskey and bourbon maker founded seven years ago, as it seeks to expand its portfolio of specialty brands.

Pernod, the world’s second-largest spirits group after Diageo, did not disclose the value of the deal.

“This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value,” Pernod Ricard’s Chief Executive Alexandre Ricard said in a statement.

“Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its (territory) and very well positioned in the high-end bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories,” he said.

Founded in 2012 by whiskey maker Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole produces 1.2 million gallons annually.

Zamanian said Pernod Ricard, which is under pressure from activist investor Elliott to improve profit margins and corporate governance, would use its distribution network to expand Rabbit Hole to new customers.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Susan Fenton

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