Bacardi takes control of Leblon cachaça
Continuing with its aggressive acquisition streak, Bacardi has purchased premium cachaça brand Leblon for an undisclosed sum.
The Bermuda-based drinks group, which has announced a number of acquisitions in recent months, has bought Leblon Holdings LLC and its Leblon cachaça brand after serving as a minority stakeholder for a number of years.
Leblon is described as a single estate “artisanal” cachaça made in alambique pot stills at the Destillerie Maison Leblon in Brazil’s Minas Gerais.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, Leblon is available in more than 35 countries including Brazil, the US, Canada, and select markets in Europe, Asia and in the Caribbean.
While Bacardi now has full ownership of Leblon, its founder Steve Luttmann will continue to lead the company.
The cachaça category has seen significant volume declines in recent years as its core Brazilian market turns to international vodka and whisky brands.
However, speaking to The Spirits Business last year, Luttmann said artisanal brands are helping change the perception of cachaça as a low quality spirit.
“I always say cachaça is two categories with the same name – there’s industrial cachaça which is in decline, but alambique cachaça, made in pot stills, is growing in double-digit numbers,” he said.
“So when you look at the empirical measures, it masks over what is happening in the alambique category.”
In the same week, it was revealed that the group had bought a minority stake in independent Scotch whisky bottler Compass Box.