In a statement released this morning, Edrington said it was ‘pleased’ that it had sold the brand to La Martiniquaise-Bardinet, but didn’t disclose how much the French drinks group had paid for the whisky.
It’s set to be a pretty swift transaction, with all the legal and regulatory stuff expected to be complete within a month. As part of the deal, Edrington says it will continue to help with bottling, blending and other practicalities during a transition period.
Edrington announced back in June that it was planning to sell both the Cutty Sark brand and its Glenturret Distillery in a bid to concentrate its efforts on The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse and Brugal Rum. Turns out you can have favourites.
“Cutty Sark is a great Scotch whisky and has been a worldwide whisky icon for the last 90 years,” said Edrington’s chief exec Ian Curle.
“We are pleased to be transferring the brand to La Martiniquaise-Bardinet and know that it will thrive under their ownership. We wish them all the very best for the future with this great brand.”
Jean-Pierre Cayard, La Martiniquaise-Bardinet president, added: “We are proud to take ownership of this powerful brand. Cutty Sark perfectly complements our portfolio of international brands including Label 5, Sir Edward’s and Glen Moray Scotch Whisky, Poliakov Vodka, Porto Cruz and Negrita and Saint James Rum.
“This acquisition is a major step forward to accelerate our international expansion. It will further strengthen our position in Europe and boost our presence in key markets such as the US & Japan. With Cutty Sark, we consolidate our position in Scotch whisky, entering in the world’s top five groups*.”
Cutty Sark has quite the storied history in Scotch, tracing its roots back to 1923. It was famously smuggled into the US during Prohibition by the infamous William McCoy, with the brand launching Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition to celebrate his exploits.
No word from Edrington yet on any potential suitors for Glenturret.