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Pernod sells Glenallachie to Billy Walker consortium

Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky arm Chivas Brothers has sold the Glenallachie Distillery in Scotland to a consortium of investors led by Billy Walker, former managing director of the BenRiach Distillery Company.

Chivas Brothers has sold the Glenallachie Distillery in Scotland

Chivas Brothers has signed an agreement with The Glenallachie Consortium, comprising Billy Walker, Inver House Distillers’ former managing director Graham Stevenson, and Trisha Savage, formerly of Burn Stewart Distillers and the BenRiach Distillery Company.

The consortium will acquire Aberlour-based Glenallachie for an undisclosed sum.

The deal includes the distillery’s flagship Glenallachie single malt whisky brand, as well as blended Scotch whisky brands MacNair’s and White Heather.

The Glenallachie distillery was built in 1967 by Mackinlay McPherson, and later bought and mothballed by Invergordon Distillers in 1985.

It was then bought by Pernod Ricard-operated Campbell Distillers in 1989, which expanded the capacity with two extra stills.

Subject to customary conditions, the transaction is expected to take place before the end of 2017.

Pernod said the deal is in line with its “strategy to focus on its priority spirits and wines brands and to adjust its industrial footprint to its needs”.

Billy Walker led the revival of the BenRiach distillery in 2004. The BenRiach Distillery Company also eventually included the GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries and brands.

Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman acquired the business for £285 million (US$416m) in April last year, marking the group’s re-entry into the single malt Scotch category.

In February this year, it was announced that Billy Walker would leave BenRiach following the appointment of Morrison Bowmore’s Rachel Barrie as master blender.

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