Constellation Brands Buys Stakes in Copper & Kings, The Real McCoy

Constellation Brands has been a multi-year buying spree of spirits brands. This has continued with the announcement this week that the drinks company acquired minority stakes in both Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. of Kentucky, and The Real McCoy, which produces Barbados rum.

Terms of either deal were not disclosed.

Copper & Kings is known for its unique American brandy and gin creations.

“In all honesty there could not be a better fit between a small craft distiller and a leader in the beverage alcohol industry like Constellation Brands,” says Copper & Kings Founder and CEO, Joe Heron. “There are not only significant synergies in supply chain, but also a shared culture of entrepreneurship, and most importantly an overlapping culture of innovation and social responsibility.”

Heron believes the deal will help his company expand.

“We are going to need additional gas in the tank to keep up with the growth we are now encountering as a brand, and for the brandy category in general,” he says. “Brown spirits have a very long-term planning horizon; 10 years or more out. Constellation’s investment will help us move forward with appropriate capital.”

As part of the deal with The Real McCoy, Constellation will handle distribution for the brand throughout the U.S., and provide assistance with marketing and operations.

The Real McCoy will continue to be managed by CEO, Bailey Pryor, and all distribution partners outside the United States will remain the same.

“We are excited about working with Constellation Brands because they clearly understand the marketplace and know how to build brands from the ground up, while maintaining product integrity,” says Pryor.

Adds Master Distiller, Richard Seale, “With Constellation’s investment and strategic counsel, we look forward to fully achieving our vision of expanding The Real McCoy’s reach throughout the United States.”

All senior executive positions in the company remain the same with CMO, Jennifer Pryor, COO, John Espositoand CFO, Walter Brunner remaining in their roles. Vice Presidents Mac Jones, Abbi Miller and Linda Lofstrom also remain in place with greater focus on key account management and expansion into new states, the company says.

“This doesn’t change who we are or how we go to market.” says Esposito. “The collaboration with Constellation allows us to reach new consumers, expand distribution and grow brand awareness, all while maintaining the integrity of what The Real McCoy is all about.”

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