Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey has sold a minority stake in the business to Barcardi, the family-owned maker of white rum and one of the largest players in the global spirits market.
The Irish business will continue to be run by its existing owners and management team, and the company will remain independent and autonomous from Bacardi.
As part of the deal, Teeling’s range of Irish whiskies will be distributed in the US by Bacardi from September 1st. The US is the largest market for Irish whiskey with sales of more than 3.5 million nine litre cases in 2016.
Teeling was set up in 2012 by Irish entrepreneur Jack Teeling and has been imported and distributed into the US for the past three years.
As part of this arrangement, Teeling will now be distributed in select states by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which distributes on behalf of Bacardi in the US.
Southern Glazer’s was formed following the merger of Southern Wine and Spirits of America and Glazer’s Inc in 2016. It created the Transatlantic Wine & Spirits Division to handle the Bacardi portfolio of brands in the US.
US market Commenting on this link-up with Bacardi, Mr Teeling said: “The US market is by far the most important market for Irish whiskey and it is beginning to go through significant premiumisation. Given the size of the opportunity, when a chance came up to partner with Bacardi through their new national distribution partnership and unique route-to-market model with Southern Glazer’s, it was too good not to take.
“Joining forces with a partner of this calibre in the largest market for Irish whiskey is an important strategic development for us and is testament to what Teeling Whiskey has achieved over the past five years.”
Teeling’s saw volumes jump 44 per cent last year to almost 31,000 cases.
Based in Newmarket, Dublin 8, Teeling is exported to more than 50 international markets. In Ireland, its whiskies are stocked in 800 bars and 1,700 outlets.
Its distillery opened in June 2015 and is set to undergo a €500,000 expansion to accommodate extra production and to increase its visitor centre.
The facility has attracted 185,000 visitors since opening, with visitor numbers doubling in the past 12 months.