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Beam Suntory has acquired a majority stake in UK gin producer Sipsmith

Beam Suntory has acquired a majority stake in UK gin producer Sipsmith

Beam Suntory has added UK craft spirit producer Sipsmith to its spirits stable.

The two companies announced this morning that Beam Suntory will have a "controlling interest" in the London-based gin and vodka producer. Specific terms regarding the size of stake and amount paid were not disclosed.

According to accounts filed with Companies House in the UK, Sipsmith comprised assets at the end of March last year of GBP1.2m (US$1.5m).

Today's announcement comes three days after reports claimed Sipsmith had tasked Rothschild & Co with handling "talks with potential bidders".

just a Look Around - Sipsmith Distillery - video

The privately-owned company, which sells around 70% of its gin and vodka volumes in the UK, will continue to be led by co-founders Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall. Production operations will also remain in London.

"This marks an extraordinary journey for us so far, and a very exciting adventure, going forward," co-founder Galsworthy told just-drinks today. "When we started in 2009, I couldn't get a wholesaler to sell our gin. Now, eight years later, we're joining with the third-largest spirits company in the world."

Beam Suntory said the pair intend to "pursue ambitious export plans" going forward. "We're looking to penetrate the corners of the world that we're yet to get to," added Galsworthy.

The transaction is expected to complete next month.

Beam Suntory owns the mainstream Larios and Gilbey's gin brands.

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