Cooley Distillery sold in $95m deal

Friday, 16 December 2011

US drinks company Beam is to buy Louth-based Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

Cooley founder welcomes deal with US drinks giant.

US drinks company Beam is to buy Louth-based Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery in a deal worth around $95m (€71m).

Cooley owns and produces the Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore brands. It currently sells around 250,000 9-litre cases of whiskey a year.

The company was founded by chairman John Teeling, who said Beam had the experience and global strength to help the Cooley brands to reach their potential.

Beam’s brands include Jim Beam bourbon, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac and Teacher’s scotch whisky.

“Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent player, so this transaction is a unique and compelling high-return opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest growth categories,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam.

Figures show that the volume of Irish whiskey sold last year grew by 11.5% to 4.86 million. The leading markets for Irish whiskey are the US, Ireland, the UK, France, South Africa and Germany.

Barry Fitzwilliam are the agents for Jim Beam in Ireland and they also distribute the Cooley range of whiskies.

Barry and Fitzwilliam sponsor product for The Irish Guild of Sommeliers course.

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