Pernod Ricard to buy The Whisky Exchange

Pernod Ricard has agreed a deal to buy specialist London spirits shop The Whisky Exchange.

The drinks giant that owns Absolut, Havana Club and Jameson said the retailer would continue to operate with its current team and structure, with founders Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh running the business as joint managing directors.

The deal includes the on-trade wholesale arm Speciality Drinks, The Whisky Exchange shops, website and events, the online marketplace Whisky.Auction and the events company ABV Global.

The sale will not include the production arm Elixir Distillers and the distillery being built on Islay, which has recently become a separate entity, Elixir Distillers Ltd. Nor does it include Speciality Brands, the spirits agency company, which has always been a separate company.

The Singh brothers founded The Whisky Exchange in 1999, since which it has become one of the leading bricks and mortar and online spirits retailers in the world. It is a several times winner in DRN's Drinks Retailing Awards.

It lists around 10,000 products and has three London shops.

It is also active in private sales and online auctions of rare spirits, two areas where Pernod said it would "develop innovative synergies".

Pernod Ricard said it "will leverage synergies between The Whisky Exchange’s expertise and its [own] in-house platforms such as Drinks & Co and Bodeboca". 

Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh said in a statement: “After more than 20 years building The Whisky Exchange, we are delighted to be joining the Pernod Ricard family and working with them to take the business to the next level.

"The Whisky Exchange and our customers have always felt like a family, and we are looking forward to maintaining this ethos with a partner that shares our values.

"Our mission remains the same: to offer the finest range of whiskies and spirits from the best producers around the world, educate and engage with consumers, and support the top on-trade establishments around the UK."

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive of Pernod Ricard, added: “E-commerce is a key channel in our long-term strategy.

"We are thrilled to work with industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development."

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