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Diageo to buy Chase Distillery

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has agreed to acquire English spirits producer Chase Distillery for an undisclosed sum.

The Chase Distillery was founded by William Chase, pictured left

Herefordshire-based Chase Distillery was founded in 2008 by William Chase. The single-estate producer’s portfolio includes seven gins, four vodkas and an elderflower liqueur. Chase also recently moved into hard seltzers with the launch of a gin-based range.

Chase Distillery is focussed on sustainable production and makes its spirits using a grain-to-glass approach. The products are made from British-grown potatoes, apples and botanicals grown on the distillery’s farm. The site also uses steam energy to operate the distillery, which is generated using a biomass boiler powered by leftovers from the apple orchard. Waste from the potatoes is used as fertiliser to feed the farm’s livestock.

William Chase said: “It’s inspiring to have Diageo invest in Chase Distillery’s future. They believe in the potential of our field to bottle spirits and will build on our mission to develop our sustainable distillery in Herefordshire.”

According to IWSR 2019 data cited by Diageo, the UK is the largest gin market in Europe and grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% between 2014 and 2019.

The premium-plus segment is also growing at more than twice the rate of the total UK gin category, with a CAGR of 40% in the five years to 2019.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo Great Britain, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing such a quintessentially British portfolio of high-quality, crafted brands into our family.

“We are excited about the growth opportunity within the premium-plus segment and are very much looking forward to working with the Chase team to build on the portfolio’s considerable potential.”

The deal is expected to close by early 2021 subject to regulatory authorisation.

The agreement comes just three months after Diageo agreed to buy Davos Brands, which co-owns Aviation American Gin with Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, in a deal worth up to US$610 million. The acquisition was completed on 30 September.

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