Pernod Ricard has acquired a majority stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, the number one mezcal brand in the US.
Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, founded in 1995 by artist and entrepreneur Ron Cooper, produces artisanal, hand-crafted mezcals from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. It is expected that the deal will boost global distribution of the brand.
Under the terms of the transaction, the management team of Ron Cooper, Michael Gardner, Steve Olson, and the rest of the Del Maguey team will remain in place.
Created from a traditional process rooted in Zapotec culture, the 'Single Village' name identifies every Del Maguey product by the village in which it is made. All of Del Maguey’s Mexico operations will also remain intact.
'We partnered with Pernod Ricard because they understand and appreciate our mission of preserving the culture of the Zapotec people and protecting the traditional process of making mezcal,' Ron Cooper said.
'Through this partnership, our management team will gain increased opportunities to distribute our products to mezcal lovers around the world while also ensuring that the palenqueros – or families we work with – are able to continue crafting their liquid art for generations to come.'
Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, added: 'This partnership illustrates our continued strategy of partnering with dynamic entrepreneurs who share our passion for authentic, high-quality crafted premium products and further extends our fantastic portfolio of genuine brands.'
Global sales of mezcal rose to a record $80 million in 2015, and US volumes jumped 279% from 2005-2015, according to International Wine & Spirits Research.
Jeff Agdern, senior vice president of Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures Division, said: 'Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal is highly respected by consumers and the industry for its brand authenticity and relationships with local farmer producers.'