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Ace Beverage Group to buy Nude RTD for $8m

Pernod Ricard-backed Ace Beverage Group has agreed to purchase Canadian ready-to-drink (RTD) brand Nude for CA$11 million (US$8m).

Nude iced tea
Nude is a leading ready-to-drink brand in Western Canada

Ace Beverage Group (ABG) is a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard’s Corby Spirit and Wine division, following Corby’s CA$165m (US$124m) acquisition of a 90% stake in the RTD producer last year.

The deal to purchase Nude ‘accelerates’ Corby and ABG’s shared goal of becoming a leader in the RTD category in Canada by increasing market share in Western Canada.

“We’re excited to leverage the Nude team and brand to propel our expansion in Western Canada,” said Cam McDonald, ABG’s CEO.

“Nude’s standing as a key RTD player in the Western Canadian market perfectly complements our existing position in Ontario, paving the way for a national platform to introduce cutting-edge RTD innovations to consumers nationwide.”

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nude Beverages was created with the aim of developing drinks that contain no sugar or sweeteners. Nude launched its first sugar-free vodka and soda RTD in 2017.

ABG is a key player in the ‘fast-growing’ RTD category in Canada, Corby said last year. The company’s flagship Cottage Springs product is the leading RTD brand in Ontario.

Nicolas Krantz, Corby’s president and CEO, added: “Following last year’s successful integration of ABG’s brands into our combined RTD portfolio, which now includes Cottage Springs, Absolut, Malibu, Jameson, Polar Ice, and JP Wiser’s, we are delighted at this unique opportunity to reinforce our position in this attractive segment, with the ambition to become the leading RTD portfolio in Canada.

“This transaction will help further drive additional innovation and unlock synergies in a critical growth category for our business.”

The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of Corby’s 2024 fiscal year (three months to 30 June 2024).

Canada is described as one of the top global RTD markets. The segment is one of the fastest-growing alcohol categories, with a 20% year-on-year boost between 2016 and 2021, Pernod Ricard said. It is expected to report double-digit increases in the coming years.

Based in Toronto, Corby is Canada’s second-largest marketer and distributor of spirits and wines, and is majority-owned by Pernod Ricard.

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