Paddy Irish Whiskey, the world's fourth-largest Irish whiskey brand, looks likely to be acquired by US-owned drinks company Sazerac.
The brand's existing owner, Irish Distillers, is an affiliate of Pernod Ricard. It was announced yesterday that the companies were in discussions regarding the sale of Paddy. If the deal goes through, the brand - which sells 200,000 9l cases in 28 countries - will continue to be produced at Midleton Distillery, and roles at Irish Distillers would apparently remain unchanged. A statement from Pernod Ricard stated that 'all employees would remain in place under current terms and conditions'.
While nothing at Midleton would change, Sazerac president and CEO Mark Brown hoped the company would 'be able to take Paddy to the next level, building on its strong history and roots'.
Pernod's statement confirmed that this proposed sale was in line with the company's strategy, and would allow for 'targeted investment in other key Irish Distillers' whiskey brands including Jameson and Powers to support continued growth'.
Anna Malmhake, chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, commented: 'At the heart of everything that Irish Distillers does is a desire to see Irish whiskey grow. This deal with Sazerac, if completed, would allow Irish whiskey's reputation and footprint to grow further internationally.'
According to Pernod Ricard, the Irish whiskey industry is projecting 100% growth by 2020. 'In the global market, Irish whiskey experienced the fastest volume growth in the last five years, outpacing all other spirits categories,' said Brown.
The deal is expected to go through in the next few weeks.