Pernod Ricard buys remaining stake in Avión TequilaBy Nicola Carruthers
Pernod Ricard has completed its acquisition of the remaining stake in Avión Spirits, owner of Tequila brand Avión, for an undisclosed sum.
The French drinks group has owned 84% of the Tequila brand since July 2014, when it upped its 20% minority stake in Avión Spirits.
The deal follows a joint venture established between Pernod Ricard and the Tequila brand in 2011.
Described as a small-batch, ultra-premium Tequila, Avión was founded by Ken Austin and is produced with the Lopez family, a fifth generation agave grower. American rapper Jeezy joined forces with Tequila Avion in 2013 when he was named multicultural advisor of the brand.
Austin, president Jenna Fagnan, and Jeezy, will remain “highly involved” and “financially incentivised” in the company until at least 2020 to help boost the growth of the Tequila brand.
Ultra-premium Avión joins super-premium Olmeca Altos in the French drinks group’s Tequila portfolio.
The acquisition follows Pernod Ricard’s purchase of a majority stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, in August last year.
“Avión has become a leading aspirational lifestyle brand in the fast-growing ultra-premium tequila category,” said Paul Duffy, chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard USA.
“This acquisition is important for Pernod Ricard USA as we focus on premiumisation and building brands that consumers are passionate about. We look forward to continuing to develop and grow this exciting brand.”
Austin, who is also chairman of the company, added: “The Pernod Ricard people, distributors and brokers have been and will continue to be key drivers in taking Avión to the next level.”
In August last year, five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather put his name to a US$1,500 bottle of Avión Tequila to mark his 50th professional fight – in which the American was once again victorious.