Independent family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons Ltd has acquired the  French brandy company Raynal & Cie from the financial institutions that currently own it.

Effective from 6 October 2005, the acquisition gives William Grant & Sons ownership of the French grape brandies Three Barrels and Raynal which will continue to be produced and bottled in Cognac. 

Three Barrels and Raynal are particularly strong in the UK and USA. In recent years Raynal Brandy has also begun to establish a presence in Eastern Europe and Asia.  The global volume exceeds 530,000 cases per annum, William Grant said.

William Grant & Sons' deputy group managing director Tony Hunt said: "The Three Barrels and Raynal brands have, for some years now, been owned by financial institutions and we believe that they will acquire greater value in the ownership of William Grant & Sons, given that our family-owned company has been building international spirits brands for over a hundred years.

"The Raynal & Cie acquisition will allow us to broaden our portfolio and increase market share in the major spirits markets of the UK and USA and we will work with the current Raynal & Cie management team and distribution network to build the long-term value of these great brands," he said.

Whilst the foundation of William Grant & Sons' business continues to be its core Scotch whisky portfolio, including Glenfiddich, Grant's and The Balvenie, the company has recently acquired a number of premium brands in other spirits sectors, including Gibson's Canadian whisky and OVD rum and has successfully developed Hendrick's Gin and, most recently Reyka Vodka, from Iceland's first and only distillery.