GERMANY – Just a few days after agreeing to acquire Aviation gin and Davos Brands for a total consideration of US$610 million, Diageo continues to eye expansion in the gin category.

Diageo, through its Distill Ventures accelerator, has made a minority investment in German gin producer Rheinland Distiller, the creator of the Siegfried brand.

Distill Ventures is designed to help small brands scale up their business, receiving a percentage of interest in return.

Following the transaction, the founders of Rheinland Distillers will retain majority ownership, with Diageo holding a minority stake for an undisclosed amount.

The investment will help drive growth of Rheinland Distillers and its Siegfried brand, and will enable the company access to Distill Venture’s acceleration programme, reports Foodbev.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved in the last 5 years. As we look to further growth, we are delighted to work with Diageo and Distill Ventures to access invaluable knowledge and expertise whilst continuing to operate as an independent business,” said Gerald Koenen, managing director of Rheinland Distillers.

Frank Lampen, co-founder and CEO of Distill Ventures, added, “It was the passion, innovation and obsession with quality that we saw in Raphael and Gerald which drew us to their brand.

“Their success story shows precisely where the future of spirits lies: consumers come first and they want the freedom of choice whether with or without alcohol.”

Since launching, Rheinland Distillers has gained wide distribution in Germany through retailers, as well as a strong digital presence – a direct-to-consumer website and presence on ecommerce platforms – allowing Siegfried Rheinland Dry Gin to become the fastest growing German gin brand in 2019, according to IWSR.

Siegfried is the first brand with both an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic product to join Distill Venture’s growing portfolio of international non-alcoholic brands such as Ritual Zero Proof; which make up 25% of the entire portfolio.

Elizabeth Brown, Diageo Group Strategy Director said. “Siegfried run a digital-first business model, offering great consumer choice with both an award-winning gin and a non-alcoholic alternative.

“We are thrilled that they have joined the Distill Ventures portfolio and look forward to supporting Raphael and Gerald on accelerating the Siegfried business.”

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