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Speciality Drinks sold to Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is to take on Speciality Drinks Ltd, parent company of The Whisky Exchange, after reaching a deal with co-founders Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh.

The sale includes, The Whisky Exchange's bricks-and-mortar stores and events including The Whisky Show, trade supplier Speciality Drinks, auction site Whisky.Auction, and ABV Global, the company behind London Cocktail Week.

It will not include Elixir Distillers or the forthcoming distillery on Islay, nor does it include Speciality Brands, which has always operated as a separate company.

According to Pernod Ricard - one of the world's largest drinks companies that boasted consolidated sales of €8.8 billion in the 2020-21 financial year - this acquisition is in line with its "consumer-centric strategy, in a context of solid e-commerce growth and strong demand for premiumisation".

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said: "We are thrilled to work with industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development."

Since its creation by the Singh brothers in 1999, The Whisky Exchange has become a leading global online and physical retailer of spirits with three London shops and an active private sales and online auction presence.

Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh said: "Since we started The Whisky Exchange, we have enjoyed great success in delivering fine whisky and spirits to people around the world, not just via our retail business but also through the subsequent businesses that have emerged.

"The last few years in particular have brought about a period of rapid growth that has highlighted the need for us to bolster our experience, resource and infrastructure to deliver the next stage of business development, and we're excited to have agreed this deal with Pernod Ricard to help achieve this."

The Whisky Exchange will continue to operate with its current team and structure, with Sukhinder and Rajbir managing the business as joint managing directors for the foreseeable future. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions but sources say it will conclude in the coming month.

22 September 2021 - Bethany Whymark