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Drake to launch IPO for Virginia Black whiskey brand

Rapper Drake and DeLeón Tequila founder Brent Hocking have announced their plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) to raise US$30 million for whiskey venture Virginia Black.

Canadian rapper Drake and DeLeón Tequila founder Brent Hocking founded Virginia Black Whiskey in 2016

The IPO will allow investors the opportunity to invest in the duo’s vision to “redefine whisky”.

The company intends to use the proceeds to fund domestic and international expansion, sales and marketing, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

The offering is expected to commence at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Virginia Black Whiskey

Launched in May 2016, Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey is a blend of two, three and four-year old Bourbon whiskies “focused on a high rye content”.

The brand is distributed by Proximo Spirits and is available in 45 states and in Burundi, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Zanzibar, as well as the UK and Canada.

“From inception, we wanted everyone to enjoy Virginia Black and are pleased to extend the opportunity to millions of Americans and other investors around the world to become part of the Virginia Black family,” said Hocking.

TriPoint Global Equities, along with its online division BANQ, will act as the lead managing selling agent and bookrunner for the offering.

In October 2016, Drake broke the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s record for the largest single day launch sales with his venture Virginia Black Whiskey.

Last July, Drake released a series of advertisements for Virginia Black Whiskey, which poked fun at beer brand Dos Equis’s ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ campaign.

Drake – born Aubrey Drake Graham – is the latest in a long line of celebrity spirit launches.

Justin Timberlake founded his Sauza 901 Tequila brand back in 2009, while actor George Clooney launched Casamigos Tequila back in 2013, selling the brand to Diageo for a whopping US$1 billion last year. 

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