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Casella Family Brands acquires Ampersand

Australian Beer Co, a subsidiary of Casella Family Brands, has snapped up burgeoning RTD brand Ampersand for an undisclosed sum.

Australian Beer Co has acquired Melbourne-based RTD brand Ampersand to complement the company’s existing portfolio of beer, cider, seltzers and RTDs.

Ampersand currently has 32 SKUs and has sold more than 15 million cans across its product range, despite only starting the business five years ago. A further 12 products are planned for launch in 2024.

Australian Beer Co says that Ampersand founders Shaun Rankins, Marcus Kellet and Alex Bottomly will stay with the business in their current roles.

“This is an exciting acquisition for Australian Beer Co as we continue to build our offering in the spirits and RTD categories,” says John Casella, managing director of Casella Family Brands, which owns wine labels Yellow Tail and Peter Lehmann Wines.

“I look forward to the founders joining our business to continue the great success they have enjoyed to date.”

According to Ampersand co-found Shaun Rankins, the business is keen to “utilise Casella Family Brands’ legacy and time-tested expertise” in order to maintain and deepen its customer and supplier relationships.

“I see this acquisition as more than just a business deal; it is a relationship that brings together the strengths of two independent companies with similar ideologies to continue to innovate the spirit industry,” he said.

“With both companies valuing trust, integrity and respect, this acquisition will see unparalleled synergies and continued growth.”

Rankins added that Ampersand will remain “a proudly independent Australian business.”

Ampersand’s flagship product, Vodka, Soda &, was the first unflavoured vodka soda RTD to hit the Australian market, encouraging consumers to “add whatever you want” to it.

The company has since gone on to add whisky-based RTDs and Tequila-based products to the range.

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