Beer & Cider

Left to right, Fermentum Group’s Brad Rogers, Ross Jurisich and Jamie Cook

Kirin announced its purchase last month of Australian brewer Fermentum Group. The deal, for an undisclosed fee, was secured through Kirin’s Australasian subsidiary, Lion Brewing Co and comprised Fermentum’s entire brand portfolio, including craft beer Stone & Wood and Sunly Seltzer.

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Soft drinks acquisitions are next phase of beer expansion – Rabobank

Major US brewers should consider buying energy drinks and coffee start-ups to further expand beyond beer, a study recommended last month.

Soft Drinks

In the middle of the month, a US private-equity group purchased the Odwalla juice brand from The Coca-Cola Co, Warburg Pincus confirmed the acquisition of Odwalla for an undisclosed fee through subsidiary Full Sail IP Partners.


Pernod Ricard started September with a minority stake purchase in Sovereign Brands. According to the group, the move paved the way for “potential common industrial and commercial projects” with the New York-headquartered company.

Is Pernod Ricard looking for celebrity friends through Sovereign Brands? – focus

Just Drinks asks: Who is Sovereign Brands?

Early in the month, Diageo bought into Japanese single malt whisky start-up Komasa Kanosuke Distillery. The transaction, for an unspecified “minority” holding, was completed through the group’s exclusive accelerator partner, London-based Distill Ventures.

The most high-profile deal of the month went to Pernod, which bought online spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange. The Chivas Regal brand owner announced on 21 September the signing of an agreement for the UK-based e-tailer, which has been operating since 1999 and also runs three off-premise specialist stores in London.

Why buying brands has made way for buying platforms for spirits multinationals – analysis

The transaction not only underlined the end of the transformative M&A transaction in spirits but also highlighted the e-commerce channel as the flavour of the month among the multinational brand owners.

“The drinks industry’s been a very late adapter to e-commerce” – Just Drinks speaks to The Whisky Exchange joint-MD Sukhinder Singh

The deal also gave Just Drinks the excuse to catch up with The Whisky Exchange joint-MD Sukhinder Singh.

Pernod strengthened its relationship with Alexander Stein, founder of the Monkey 47 gin brand, towards the end of the month. The company invested in a minority holding in Stein’s latest venture, The Horse’s Spirit Co. Through the stake, Pernod will handle the worldwide distribution of  Horse with No Name, a US Bourbon infused with 2% habanero chilli distillate.

J&W Nicholson moved across from family owners to UK-based investment vehicle Sella Digital in mid-September. The purchase comprised the gin brand’s full portfolio including its namesake London Dry gin, which had formerly been owned by Pernod Ricard.

“Acquisitions? We want to be part of that” – Just Drinks speaks to Anora Group CEO Pekka Tennilä

Finland’s Altia and Norway-based Arcus completed their long-awaited merger to create Anora Group, the leading brand house for wine and spirits in the Nordics and Baltics. Just Drinks spoke to new Anora CEO Pekka Tennilä – formerly the head of Altia – about how the merger came about, where he plans to take the company and why sourcing glass bottles is currently an impossible task.

The promise and the peril of rum acquisitions – comment

As one multinational distiller made clear its intentions in super-premium rum, spirits category commentator Amy Hopkins considered what acquirers will need to bear in mind when developing the category, and how increasing consolidation could benefit it in the long term.