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Sydney Rum Distillery to buy Cargo Cult

Australia-based Sydney Rum Distillery has expanded its rum portfolio with the acquisition of local brand Cargo Cult for an undisclosed sum.

Cargo Cult Sydney Rum Distillery
Cargo Cult will joins the distillery’s House of Australian rum portfolio

The Cargo Cult portfolio, produced by The Small Batch Spirits Company, includes the Dry Spiced and Banana Spiced rums.

The brand is distributed by Amber Beverage Group in Australia (Think Spirits) and in the UK (Indie Brands), while Zanzibar looks after distribution in the Czech Republic.

Brand founder Johnny Croft said: “It is time to scale and elevate our portfolio to a wider consumer audience across Europe and even into North America, whilst we support Amber Beverage here in Australia.

“We see huge opportunity in the rum category, with significant opportunity to drive premiumisation and invite in new consumers with authentic, unique and innovative brands.”

Croft will join Sydney Rum Distillery as chief marketing officer and director.

The firm’s chairman, David Ward, said Croft brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the Sydney-based distiller, including at Frucor Suntory and Brown-Forman.

Croft’s appointment follows the hire of Steve Magarry who joined Sydney Rum Distillery as CEO in March this year.

Magarry added: “This is just the beginning of a strategic expansion that will include multiple rum industry opportunities across both Asia Pacific and Australia.

“Jonny has developed the Cargo Cult brand to date – I look forward to the contribution he will make as part of the executive team.

“Our ‘House of Australian rum’ portfolio strategy is to evaluate, collaborate and partner with alike-minded rum producers and brands as the industry expands.”

The Sydney-based producer is “focused on both organic growth and strategic acquisition strategies”, Ward added.

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