Diageo to acquire artisan brand Mezcal UniónBy Lucy Shaw
Drinks giant Diageo has reached an agreement to buy artisan brand Mezcal Unión through the acquisition of Casa UM, expanding its agave spirits portfolio.
Mezcal Unión was launched in 2011 by a group of Mexican entrepreneurs with the aim of developing the category while generating a positive social impact and preserving traditional production methods.
As part of the deal, Mezcal Unión’s founders will continue to be involved in the business to support the brand’s future success and growth.
Diageo has worked in partnership with Mezcal Unión since 2016, providing expertise and supporting growth of the brand’s distribution network in Mexico, the US and other export markets.
Over the last five years, Mezcal Unión has integrated numerous mezcal producers and agave farmers into its sustainability and community support programmes, focused on contributing to local development in Oaxaca.
Under its new owners, Mezcal Unión will preserve its mission of supporting traditional and artisanal production processes while continuing existing relationships with agave farmers and its network of master distillers in Oaxaca.
“Our story with Mezcal Unión began with a distribution partnership in 2016 and we are now taking it to a new level.
“We are delighted to continue working with its founders and welcome this brand to our Reserve portfolio, which includes exceptional brands across exciting and fast-growing categories like Tequila and mezcal,” said Mónica Michel, marketing and innovation director for Diageo in Mexico.
According to Diageo, over the last two years, Mezcal Unión has become one of the leading mezcal brands in the Mexican on-trade.
Alejandro Gutierrez Champion, co-founder at Mezcal Unión, added: “We believe in the power of transformation through collaboration. This approach has supported both the growth of the brand and of local communities and agave farmers in Oaxaca.
“We are proud to have delighted consumers with an excellent artisanal mezcal and are confident that as part of Diageo, one of the largest and most respected spirits companies in the world, Mezcal Unión will continue to support development of the category, open doors to new markets and strengthen our brand mission.”
The acquisition will be funded through existing cash and is subject to regulatory clearances.