Bacardi to buy high-end tequila maker Patron in $5.1 billion deal

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(Reuters) – Bacardi Ltd said on Monday it would buy high-end tequila maker Patron Spirits International AG in a $5.1 billion deal, hoping to become the second largest spirits company in the United States in market share by value.

The acquisition marks the first major deal under Mahesh Madhavan, who was appointed Bacardi’s chief executive in October by the family that controls the company and founded it some 156 years ago in Cuba.

New, high-end tequilas including Patron’s namesake drinks have helped the beverage broaden its reach beyond young partygoers.

While the global market for alcoholic drinks shrunk by 1.3 percent in 2016, the tequila market grew 5.2 percent, according to alcoholic beverage research firm IWSR.

Diageo Plc last year bought George Clooney’s premium tequila brand Casamigos for up to $1 billion.

Bermuda-based Bacardi, which owns 200 spirit labels, including Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka and its namesake white rum, has held a minority stake in Patron since 2008.

(Corrects paragraph 1 to market share by value, from market value)

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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