Moët Hennessy acquires stake in US rye whiskey company WhistlePig

USA – Luxury wine and spirits company of LVMH, Moët Hennessy has acquired a minority stake in North American farm-to-bottle rye whiskey distiller, WhistlePig as part of a new distribution partnership between the companies.

Under the deal, Moët Hennessy will help WhistlePig expand into other international markets after its successful experience in the UK, the brand’s first international focus market.

“It is an exciting opportunity for our team to bring the WhistlePig brand and product portfolio to many of our most valued customers.”

Philippe Schaus – President and CEO of Moët Hennessy

The arrangement will not affect the whiskey’s distribution partnerships in North America, but will instead focus on other overseas markets i.e. in Europe and Asia.

“We have long admired LVMH as a builder of amazing brands and products, and we have learned a lot from Moët Hennessy over the years,” co-founder of WhistlePig, Wilco Faessen, commented.

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“Formalising this through an investment in the company plus a comprehensive route to market partnership internationally is another critical milestone in our journey.”

WhistlePig will be Moët Hennessy’s first ever route to market partnership in the spirits sector, a testament to the differentiated leadership position WhistlePig has built over the last decade as the #1 distiller in the ultra-premium and luxury rye whiskey category in North America.

“We are convinced that WhistlePig fits very well with the rest of Moët Hennessy’s portfolio. This high quality and top-rated whiskey brand has done a remarkable job distinguishing itself among the emblematic and iconic craft distilleries in the United States with an ultra-premium standing in terms of identity, quality and price positioning.

“We look forward to launching WhistlePig in various market in Europe and Asia early next year.  It is an exciting opportunity for our team to bring the WhistlePig brand and product portfolio to many of our most valued customers,” Philippe Schaus, president and CEO of Moët Hennessy said.

Founded in 2007 by Raj Bhakta, a former contestant on the US version of The Apprentice, Whistlepig opened its grain-to-glass distillery in October 2015 on its 500-acre farm becoming one of the leading farm-to-bottle Rye whiskeys in the world.

Bhakta sold his shares in the company last year, the same year in which Whistlepig sold a minority stake of its business to investment banking firm BDT Capital Partners.

As the most decorated Rye whiskey, having received the coveted ‘Best in Show Whiskey’ title from the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, WhistlePig is widely viewed as the world’s finest Rye.

Other than the recent investment in WhistlePig, Moet Hennessy also owns Washington state-based Woodinville Whiskey Co, which it acquires in 2017.

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