Bacardi buys Stillhouse SpiritsBy Melita Kiely
Family-owned Bacardi has acquired American whiskey and vodka producer Stillhouse Spirits for an undisclosed sum.
Stillhouse Spirits was founded by Brad Beckerman, and Bacardi made a minority investment in the firm in 2014.
Beckerman, founder and CEO of Stillhouse Spirits, will leave the business to pursue other opportunities.
He said: “I am proud that my mission for Stillhouse will be taken to the next level by industry leader Bacardi.”
Stillhouse Spirits creates a range of six clear whiskeys, including Original, Apple Crisp, Peach Tea, Coconut, Mint Chip and Spiced Cherry. It also produces Black Bourbon, which is a whiskey blend that has been part-aged in small batch coffee beans.
Bacardi said in a statement: “We are pleased to have come to a mutual agreement as we have always admired the Stillhouse brand for its innovation, disruption of categories, and marketing ingenuity.
“We believe in the brand’s growth and potential and are excited to continue the pioneering vision that the founder set for Stillhouse.”
Beckerman filed a lawsuit against Bacardi in March this year. Beckerman revealed he was suing Bacardi for US$100 million for alleged extortion, fraud, breach of contract and financial wrongdoing.
The lawsuit alleged that “Bacardi convinced Beckerman to provide it inside access and control of Stillhouse through a series of false representations and promises of support”.
In response, Bacardi said at the time that it had provided “substantial backing” for the company over the years. It also claimed that Stillhouse Spirits had apparently “repeatedly failed to deliver the growth promised” and “continued to spend beyond the board-approved budget”, and said the company was “on the verge of bankruptcy”.
However, along with the acquisition news announced today (15 November), Bacardi said Beckerman had dismissed the lawsuit and no payment, settlement or concession of any kind had been made by Bacardi or any other party.
Bacardi added that its acquisition of Stillhouse Spirits was completed on the same terms proposed by Bacardi prior to the start of the lawsuit.