Brown-Forman acquires BenRiach for £285m

Billy Walker, BenRiach master blender
Billy Walker, BenRiach master blender

US drinks giant, the Brown-Forman Corporation has purchased the Scottish BenRiach Distillery Company in a £285 million deal.

The takeover will see the US company’s whisky portfolio expand as it acquires all three of BenRiach’s brands: Glenglassaugh, BenRiach and The GlenDronach, as well as a bottling plant and the company’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

It will also acquire BenRiach’s three malt distilleries: The Glenglassaugh Distillery on the Moray coast of Portsoy, The GlenDronach Distillery in Aberdeenshire and BenRiach near Elgin.

Paul Varga, chief executive officer at Brown-Forman, said the acquisition allows the drinks firm to re-enter one of the industry’s “most exciting and consistent growth segments, single malt Scotch whisky”.

“The Glendronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh single malt brands are rich in history and we believe they will continue to prosper and grow in our hands,” said Varga.

The purchase is expected to be complete in June and, moving forward, The BenRiach Distillery Company, which employs 165 employees, will operate as a subsidiary of Brown-Forman.

BenRiach Distillery managing director Billy Walker said he is confident the takeover will take the malt brands to the “next level”.

“We feel immensely privileged to have been custodians of this business for the last 12 years, and to be associated with these wonderful brands and great distilleries,” said Walker.

“We are very confident that Brown-Forman will take The Glendronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh brands to the next level and fulfil their full potential, and prove to be worthy custodians of these historic distilleries.”