Quintessential Brands buys First Ireland Spirits

3rd April, 2014 by Melita Kiely

International drinks group Quintessential Brands has acquired First Ireland Spirits Company as part of plans to “expand into other Irish spirits categories”.


Quintessential Brands has acquired First Ireland Spirits as part of a multi-million euro investment

The multi-million euro acquisition of Ireland’s largest producer of Irish cream liqueurs, comes as part of Quintessential’s strategy to acquire drinks companies that “complement” its existing portfolio of brands, and provide additional routes to market.

Founded in 1993, First Ireland Spirits’ portfolio includes brands such as O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream, Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur and The Dubliner Liqueur.

However, Quintessential plans to use its new acquisition to expand into additional spirit categories, potentially the soaring Irish whiskey market.

“The acquisition of First Ireland Spirits gives us an unrivalled position in the global market for Irish cream liqueurs and is part of our strategy to become a leading European independent player in the spirits industry,” said Enzo Visone, co-founder and chairman of Quintessential Brands.

“First Ireland Spirits has well-established customer and international distribution platforms, a strong portfolio of brands and proven production capabilities, which will add to our branded and private label businesses, enhance our route to market capability and open up new opportunities in other dynamic spirits and liqueurs categories.

“The acquisition by Quintessential Brands ensures management and employees of First Ireland Spirits have an exciting future as we pursue our ambitious plans to expand our operations in Ireland.”

First Ireland Spirits currently produces and sells more than 700,000 cases of Irish creams and liqueurs across 35 markets around the world, making it Ireland’s leading producer of private label Irish cream liqueurs and Irish country creams.

“As part of Quintessential Brands, First Ireland Spirits will now have the opportunity to grow sales in the international Irish cream markets as well as expand into other Irish spirits categories,” commented Owen Brady, one of the founders of First Ireland Spirits.

“I am very proud of what we have built over the years and this deal represents an exciting opportunity for the company and its employees.”

The cream liqueurs category declined internationally by 1.26% in 2012, according to the IWSR, with the biggest slump coming from Europe and the Americas. However cream liqueurs are proving popular in emerging markets and travel retail, with Africa and the Middle East posting 7% volume increase, CIS recording 11.6% and travel retail growing by 2.7%.

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