The independent family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons has acquired the Icelandic vodka brand Pölstar Vodka from The Reformed Spirits Company Ltd for an undisclosed price.

The move by William Grant is part of an ongoing diversification of its traditional Scotch portfolio. In october it acquired three rum brands, Old Vatted Demerara, Wood's 100 Old Navy and Vat 19, from Diageo and Pernod Ricard, who acquired the brands when they jointly acquired the Seagram drink business.

The acquisition will give William Grant three main vodka brands, Pölstar Black (40% ABV), Pölstar Red (37.5% ABV) and Pölstar 45% ABV as well as a range of flavoured vodkas including Apple, Cucumber and Cranberry. The deal will be effective from 6th December 2002,.

Pölstar Vodka is a premium Icelandic vodka selling 20,000 cases through the London on-trade and is also listed in selected specialist retail outlets.  The brand has a 15% share of the on-trade vodka market in Iceland and is the pouring brand on its nation's air carrier Icelandair.

A new company, The Pölstar Vodka Company Limited, has been created to handle the acquisition, headed by managing director David Lomnitz, formerly of The Reformed Spirits Company, Heather Graham, business development director and Tim Carton, regional director (UK and global on-trade) at William Grant & Sons.

Lomnitz said: "With the expertise and financial backing of William Grant & Sons, we are looking forward to further building Pölstar Vodka in the UK.  The involvement of William Grant & Sons underlines the brand's potential and we are increasingly confident that we have a winner on our hands."

Heather Graham added: "This is a very exciting acquisition for William Grant & Sons as Pölstar Vodka is a distinctive brand with a motivating and relevant provenance which will perfectly complement our existing portfolio of premium spirits brands.  David and the team have invaluable skills in building brands through the on-trade and we are delighted to now be working with them."

Pölstar Vodka is currently only available in the UK and Iceland.