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The Sazerac Co enters India with John Distilleries stake purchase

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The Sazerac Co has announced the purchase of a stake in India spirits producer John Distilleries. 

The Sazerac Co has entered the Indian market

The Sazerac Co has entered the Indian market

The US-headquartered group confirmed earlier today that it has acquired the holding for an undisclosed sum from Gaja Capital, which will continue to remain partially invested in the company. The move marks Sazerac's entry into the Indian market.

According to a report in the Times of India, Sazerac's initial stake is 28% with a "two-year road map to buy an additional 15% from the investor". The 57% majority is held by John Distilleries' chairman & MD, Paul John, the report said.

When asked by just-drinks, privately-owned Sazerac declined to confirm the stake sizes quoted in the article.

"Sazerac's technological expertise, coupled with a global portfolio of brands spread across all spirit categories, will be an added advantage for JDPL both in domestic and in global markets," said Paul John. "We look forward to this partnership with Sazerac and in continuing to make our brands even stronger.

"We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Gaja Capital who will continue as shareholders. They have made important contributions to our success through their deep understanding of the Indian consumer, substantial operating value-add and an entrepreneurial mindset." 

In its full-year fiscal-2017, John Distilleries registered pre-tax sales of INR28bn (US$429.7m), with volumes totalling around 13m cases.

The purchase marks a raft of acquisitions for Sazerac as the firm continues to increase its global presence. 

In January last year, Sazerac took over the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands from Brown-Forman. The buy was followed in May by the addition of Pernod Ricard's Paddy Irish whiskey. Then, having bought UK spirits bottler The Last Drop Distillers in September, the group also purchased Australian spirits distributor SouthTrade International.

The month also saw the company buy Fris Vodka from Pernod, while in December, Sazerac announced the acquisition of Cognac producer Domaine Breuil de Segonzac and a Tennessee whiskey distillery. This March, the company took a stake in San Francisco-based bitters producer Bittermens.


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