Pernod Ricard has agreed to buy UK-based e-commerce platform The Whisky Exchange and London Cocktail Week for an undisclosed fee.
The sale comprises thewhiskyexchange.com, The Whisky Exchange shops and events, Speciality Drinks, Whisky.Auction and ABV Global (including London Cocktail Week), but does not include Elixir Distillers and the forthcoming distillery nor Speciality Brands, which is a separate company.
The Whiskey Exchange was founded in 1999 by Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and offers around 10,000 products to its online and high-end on-trade customer base. The company has physical stores in the UK and is active in private sales and online auctions of rare spirits.
The Whisky Exchange will continue to operate with its current team and structure, with Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh managing the business as joint managing directors, as will ABV Global, with Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne continuing to lead London Cocktail Week and their other portfolio events.
The acquisition is in line with Pernod Ricard’s consumer centric strategy, with a focus on e-commerce growth and the demand for premium products. The Paris-based drinks group said it will "leverage synergies between The Whisky Exchange’s expertise and its in-house platforms such as Drinks&Co and Bodeboca".
Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh said in a joint 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.
“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 CEO 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“.
Sharman-Cox and Payne, managing directors of LCW, said: “Nothing will change for us or the festival - we are one hundred percent 'business as usual'.
"We have always had a parent company and while that parent company will change, the day to day running of the business does not. We are remaining firmly at the helm of the festival, and will still report directly into Sukhinder and Rajbir, who will continue as managing directors of the wider business for the foreseeable future.
"ABV Global remains a stand-alone business and we are more motivated than ever to ensure that London Cocktail Week is a beacon of joy within our industry!”