Private-equity firm L Catterton is reportedly in discussions to snap up US-based mezcal supplier Ilegal.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said L Catterton is “advanced” talks to acquire Ilegal, a business set up in 2006 and which counts Bacardi among its shareholders.

Just Drinks approached L Catterton for comment but had not received a response at the time of writing.

Bacardi bought an unspecified minority stake in Ilegal in 2017.

Ilegal, based in Brooklyn in New York, was founded by John Rexer after he began importing mezcal from Oaxaca in Mexico to his bar in Antigua.

As well as Bacardi, Ilegal’s existing backers include US-based private-equity firm VMG Partners.

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L Catterton’s portfolio includes two Argentina-based wine groups – Bodegas Luigi Bosca and Susana Balbo Wines.

Industry watchers believe mezcal has been able to capitalise on the growing consumer thirst for Tequila. The rise in demand for mezcal has sparked M&A interest in the market. Since 2017, Pernod Ricard has acquired Del MagueyDiageo has bought Mezcal Unión owner Casa UM and Campari Group has picked up Montelobos.

In October last year, Pernod Ricard bought a majority stake in Código 1530, a distiller selling Tequila and mezcal.

Just Drinks: The Mex Factor – why Tequila’s growth could blaze trail for others

Data from Just Drinks’ parent, GlobalData – Tequila, mezcal North America boom set to continue – data