Constellation buys minority stake in Montanya Distillers

24th July, 2019 by Melita Kiely

US drinks company Constellation Brands has made a minority investment in American rum producer Montanya Distillers through its Focus on Female Founders programme.

Montanya-Distillers

Karen Hoskin (pictured) co-founded Montanya Distillers with her husband, Brice, in 2008

Constellation Brands’ corporate venture capital arm, Constellation Brands Ventures, launched its Focus on Female Founders programme in December 2018. The initiative aims to invest US$100 million in women-led alcohol businesses over the next decade.

Terms of Constellation Brands’ investment in Montanya Distillers were not disclosed.

Karen Hoskin, founder, president and CEO of Montanya Distillers, will continue to manage, produce, market and sell the firm’s portfolio of rums, which includes Montanya Platino, Montanya Oro and Montanya Exclusiva.

“I’ve had my shoulder to the wheel building this craft rum brand for more than a decade,” said Karen Hoskin.

“Female founders get about 2% of the venture capital money in the USA, so you can imagine my gender makes that journey harder.

“I commend Constellation for seeing and working to address this gap. They are going to be an exceptional ally and I am incredibly energised about what is to come for Montanya and for premium rum in general.”

Montanya rums are currently available in more than 40 US states and seven countries, as well as online. The company was established in 2008 by Hoskin and her husband, Brice Hoskin.

Earlier this month, Constellation Brands reported a 2% sales increase during its first quarter, as spirits outperformed wine.

In May, the company acquired a majority stake in Tennessee-based Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.

This followed an announcement from Constellation in April that the company had agreed to sell around 30 wine and spirits brands to E&J Gallo Winery for US$1.7 billion.

The firm also made a US$4bn investment in Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corporation last year.

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