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Schwarze and Schlichte buys Hamburg Distilling Co

German distributor Schwarze and Schlichte has acquired Hamburg Distilling Company, producer of Knut Hansen Dry Gin.

Knut Hansen
Knut Hansen is one of Germany’s leading gin brands

Westphalia-based Schwarze and Schlichte said the deal was part of its plan to consolidate its position in the premium spirits category. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

The move would also expand its spirits portfolio, which includes Three Sixty Vodka, Déjà-Vu Aperitif, Shatler’s Cocktails and Friedrichs Dry Gin.

Citing Nielsen data, Knut Hansen is described as the largest premium gin brand in Germany.

Hamburg Distilling Co also released Ron Piet Rum in 2020, a 10-year-old barrel-aged expression.

“This acquisition marks another step in our company’s development. We will preserve the premium quality and identity of these brands while opening up new growth opportunities,” said Dirk Hasenbein, managing director at Schwarze and Schlichte.

Hamburg Distilling Company was founded in 2017 by Martin Spieker and Kaspar Hagedorn.

The founders will remain on board as advisers and the company’s production facilities in Hamburg will be maintained. All employees will be retained following the deal.

“We are leaving our great brands and our highly motivated team in good hands,” said Spieker. “We are firmly convinced that Schwarze and Schlichte is the right partner to lead Knut Hansen and Ron Piet into a continued successful future.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed on 1 November 2023.

Three Sixty Vodka was named the fastest-growing brand in the premium vodka category in Germany earlier this year, according to Nielsen data. The brand reported 20% growth in the on-trade in 2022.

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