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Cuervo owner ups stake in Conor McGregor’s whiskey

Jose Cuervo owner Becle has completed the purchase of an additional 29% stake in Eire Born Spirits, the company behind Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey, and reported a net sales increase for its 2020 first quarter.

Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey first launched in 2018

On 28 February 2020, Mexican drinks group Becle announced it has exercised its option to buy an incremental 29% stake in Eire Born Spirits (EBS).

On 24 April, the Tequila maker completed its purchase of the additional 29% stake, taking its ownership in EBS up to 49%. EBS owns and markets the Proper No. Twelve blended Irish whiskey brand, which is made at Becle’s Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland.

Professional fighter McGregor first launched Proper No. Twelve in Ireland and the US in September 2018. The brand has since expanded its availability to the UKAustralia, and Canada.

First quarter sales

Becle also released its 2020 first quarter results, with net sales growing by 5.3% to MXN$5.2 million pesos (US$212m). Gross profit dropped by 3.4% to MXN$2.7 million pesos (US$110m).

In terms of markets, the US and Canada grew net sales by 4.1% on a reported basis. Mexico’s net sales fell 19.5% due to the introduction of an excise tax on energy drinks and product reformulation for one of the firm’s non-alcoholic drinks brands, as well as price increases across its portfolio. Net sales for the rest of the world region grew 2.6%.

Jose Cuervo Tequila, which represented 37.3% of Q1 net sales, grew 18.2%. Net sales of ‘other Tequila brands’ increased by 17.1%, while ‘other spirits brands’ fell by 9.5%.

Net sales of ready-to-drink products represented 9.5% of total net sales and rose 19.6%.

The Jose Cuervo maker said the group had “responded quickly to the rapidly changing macro environment as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic”.

The firm will “continue to closely monitor the situation and adapt to the changing environment and macro challenges”.

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