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Heaven Hill buys Few Spirits owner

Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Brands has acquired Samson & Surrey, owner of Tequila Ocho and Few Spirits, for an undisclosed sum.

Samson & Surrey is growing at a rate of 60% per year

Through the deal, Heaven Hill has purchased Samson & Surrey’s six-brand portfolio, which also includes Widow Jane American Whiskey, Brenne French Whisky, Bluecoat Gin and Mezcal Vago, and the firm’s facilities.

Samson & Surrey’s spirits will join brands including Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and Elijah Craig Bourbon in the Heaven Hill stable.

Max L Shapira, Heaven Hill Brands president, said: “Throughout our 86-year history, our focus has been building a business with a portfolio of great brands sold through a great team.

“The Samson & Surrey portfolio strategically enhances our portfolio with emerging brands in strong growth categories. Together with their team, Heaven Hill is poised to leverage the tremendous potential of these exciting brands.”

Samson & Surrey was founded in 2016 by former Bacardi executives Robert Furniss-Roe and Juan Rovira, who will continue to lead the business as an independent division of Heaven Hill.

According to the acquisition announcement, Samson & Surrey is growing at a rate of 60% per year, with US$40 million in sales. Its brands are currently available in 30 markets globally.

“Over the last five years we have enjoyed unprecedented success thanks to the talents of our team, the truly remarkable award-winning liquids we make, and the engaging consumer stories we tell. The combined talent, scale, and resources of Heaven Hill now present a unique opportunity to provide a long-term home for Samson & Surrey and to further accelerate our growth,” said Furniss-Roe, the firm’s CEO.

The super-premium Tequila and whiskey segments have grown at rates of more than 30% over the past five years, according to Distilled Spirits Council of the US data cited by the two companies.

“We believe strongly in the potential of our brands which are perfectly positioned to capitalise on the key spirits market trends,” Samson & Surrey COO Rovira added.

“We could not be more delighted to join Heaven Hill and work together to continue building a strong portfolio in the premium and super-premium segments.”

Last autumn, more than 400 workers at Heaven Hill’s distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, went on strike over a proposed contract that increased the cost of healthcare. The strike ended in October 2021, after six weeks.

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