Pernod Ricard has received an offer from Stock Spirits Group to buy Scotch whisky brand Clan Campbell.

In a statement issued today (23 June), the French spirits giant said the two sides had signed “an agreement in principle” over the brand.

Described on Pernod Ricard’s website as “a key premium Scotch in France”, Clan Campbell was launched in 1984.

In its statement, the company called Clan Campbell “one of the leading brands” among the blended 12-year-old Scotch whiskies sold in France. It is also sold in other European markets including Spain and Italy. The company recently launched a rum-based spirit drink under the Clan Caribbean brand.

Pernod Ricard, the owner of Scotch whisky brands Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal, said it was looking to shape its portfolio to meet the “evolving needs of its consumers” and to provide “greater opportunities for premiumisation”.

Alexandre Ricard, Pernod Ricard’s chairman and CEO, added: “Following a successful series of targeted acquisitions, the disposal of Clan Campbell will enable our teams to focus on priority brands.”

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During the last 12 months, the company has bought majority stakes in businesses including US flavoured whisk(e)y brand Skrewball, high-end Tequila Código 1530 and, last week, via majority-owned Corby Spirit & Wine, the local RTD producer Ace Beverage Group.

In June last year, Pernod Ricard sold its Tormore Scotch whisky distillery.

During the company’s most recent full financial year, which ran to 30 June 2022, the net sales from its Scotch whisky business rose 30% year on year, helped in part by the recoveries seen in the on-trade and in travel retail from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic. The result meant Scotch whisky accounted for 21% of Pernod Ricard’s total sales.

The group does not provide net sales figures for each of its brands. However, 1.3m cases of Clan Campbell were sold in the last financial year. No production assets are part of the potential deal.

Poland-based Stock Spirits, which is owned by private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners, has a portfolio that includes Żołądkowa de Luxe vodka and Stock 84 brandy.

Just Drinks asked Stock Spirits to comment on the agreement. In a brief statement, the company said: “Stock Spirits Group has entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase the Clan Campbell blended Scotch whisky brand from Pernod Ricard company after having delivered a firm offer to the current owner of the brand. The transaction is aimed at enabling Stock Spirits to expand in France and other Western European markets.”

Pernod Ricard said the deal “remains subject to consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies”.