USA – Pernod Ricard has announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Louisville, Kentucky based spirits company, Rabbit Hole Whiskey for an undisclosed sum.

The deal expands Pernod Ricard’s newly created portfolio of specialty brands managed under New Brand Ventures, which also includes other recent acquisitions such as Smooth Ambler and Del Maguey brands.

The company says the partnership illustrates its commitment to portfolio management, part of the three-year strategic plan “Transform & Accelerate”.

 “This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value. Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit,” said Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard.

“Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end Bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories.

“We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.”

Rabbit Hole was founded by Kaveh Zamanian, who left his day job as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst to craft whiskey in Kentucky.

As part of the strategic partnership, Kaveh will keep the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the company.

Pernod Ricard, through Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures division, is delighted to announce yesterday’s signing of the agreement for the acquisition of a majority share of Rabbit Hole Whiskey, produced and based in Louisville, Kentucky.

It operates a state-of-the-art distillery in Louisville, making Straight Bourbon and Rye whiskeys.

According to the company, the Bourbon category is ‘undergoing a renaissance’, after its discovery as a quality, neat and versatile product in modern mixology.

“Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned,” said Kaveh Zamanian.  

“By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American Whiskey.

“In partnership with Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”

This builds on other recent acquisitions such as Italian premium gin brand Malfy and Monkey 47 super premium gin.