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Bacardi buys Scotch stake in Compass Box

Bacardi has acquired a minority stake in independent Scotch whisky bottler Compass Box.

Compass Box, which produces blended Scotch Great King Street, has partnered with Bacardi

The Bermuda-based company, which acquired Angel’s Envy Bourbon earlier this week, confirmed that through the investment it has become a “long-term” supplier to Compass Box through its John Dewar & Sons business.

Founded in 2000 by John Glaser, former global marketing director of UDV, Compass Box produces several small batch Scotch whiskies including Hedonism, Peat Monster, The Spice Tree, Great King Street, Asyla and Oak Cross.

The company recently announced the launch of Hedonism Quindecimus in celebration of its 15th anniversary.

In a statement, Bacardi confirmed Compass Box would operate independently, retaining its unconventional and innovative philosophy, as well as its small batch production values.

“Bacardi has held a long-term belief in supporting innovative founders in emerging and growing businesses,” said a spokesperson for Bacardi.

“Bacardi also has a well-known track record of maintaining the unique heritage of a brands origin. John continues to lead and run the business and it operates as a standalone company. In essence, it’s business as usual at Compass Box Whisky Co.”

Glaser confirmed that Compass Box would continue to be run autonomously as a separate entity from Bacardi.

“Last year, we achieved additional long-term security through a new supply contract with John Dewar & Sons, the Scotch whisky business group of family-owned Bacardi,” he explained. “They have extensive stocks of whisky in their inventories, many of which are makes that we can use to grow our brands in the future. As part of this new relationship, Bacardi acquired a minority stake in the Compass Box Whisky Co.

“This minority shareholding does not alter the day-to-day management or operation of our business. It does not have any impact on the way we make our whiskies, the decisions we take or our mission to innovate, to explore, to push the boundaries of Scotch whisky forward.

“I continue to lead and run the business, as always, and Compass Box continues to operate autonomously. It is business as usual.”

Glaser added that the arrangement would not affect its existing supply contract with Diageo.

The acquisition enhances Bacardi’s footprint in Scotch whisky, which as of late 2014 includes Dewar’s, William Lawson’s, and the Last Great Malts of Scotland – Craigellachie, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Royal Brackla and Deveron.

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