Bacardi is taking on the distribution of Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey in a number of European markets, with the spirits giant confirming it has increased its shareholding in the Irish distiller.

Last month, The Irish Times reported that Bacardi, which first invested in Teeling in 2017, now owned 79% of the business, having upped its stake for an undisclosed sum the previous year.

Yesterday (12 December), in a statement, the Patrón brand owner laid out plans to distribute Teeling in several European markets. The statement confirmed Bacardi had bought more of the distiller but did not state the precise amount. Approached by Just Drinks, Bacardi declined to reveal the size of its shareholding.

Teeling’s founders Jack and Stephen Teeling will remain partial owners of the business and maintain control over everyday operations, the Bombay Sapphire owner said.

In August last year, the Business Post reported negotiations about a possible transaction were being held. Teeling declined to comment at the time.

Bacardi made its first investment in Teeling six years ago. According to the Business Post, the company grew its stake further a year later to 40% in 2018.

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From next month, Bacardi will distribute Teeling in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. Sweden will follow in February and Belgium from March.

“We believe that, together, we can do even more great things for our brand and company,” Jack Teeling, Teeling co-founder said in a statement. “By becoming more integrated into the Bacardi portfolio of iconic brands and their distribution across Europe, we will open up even more opportunities and reach for our brand.” 

Founded in 2012 by brothers Jack and Stephen Teeling, the whiskey maker opened the first distillery Dublin had seen in 125 years when it officially started operations in 2015.

The group produces a flagship Small Batch Irish Whiskey and a collection of single malt, single grain, single pot still and peated single malt whiskeys, as well as a range of vintage reserves and limited-edition products.

Bacardi regional president Ignacio Del Valle added: “As a fifth-generation Bacardi family member, I understand the bold decision made by the Teeling family to place its trust in us and use our expertise, resources and network to ensure more consumers can enjoy this incredible range of whiskeys.

“Bacardi will take Teeling to the next level and, together with Jack and Stephen, we will grow the brand’s reputation for craft and quality to fuel future success.”