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Will Bacardi snap up the remaining stake in Teeling Whiskey?

According to newly filed company accounts, Bacardi, which currently owns a 79% stake in Teeling Whiskey, may have the option to buy the remaining shares in the business. But will it bite?

In 2017 Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey sold a 40% share in its business to spirits giant Bacardi, which has since grown its interest in the Irish company to total a 79% stake.

The latest batch of Teeling shares were snapped up by Bacardi in November 2022 for €44.8 million.

According to The Irish Times, some cryptic wording in the latest accounts for Teelco Investments Ltd suggest that at the start of 2023 certain “investments in subsidiary companies” were valued at €74.6 million.

During 2023 Teelco Investments “subsequently . . . disposed of a portion of its interest in that entity, leaving a resulting investment in an associate entity”.

It valued said investment in the “associate entity” at €29.8 million, and added that the “remaining associate interest is subject to the terms of a put and call option agreement with the same acquirer”.

Analysts suspect that the “associate entity” is likely to be Bacardi, and that the spirits company therefore has the option to snap up the final chunk of shares in Teeling Whiskey.

If it does so, Bacardi will take ownership of a business that last year sold approximately 1.5 million bottles and made a pre-tax profit of €6.7 million on a turnover of just under €34 million.

Teeling also has plans to acquire a building next door to its Dublin distillery which will allow it to double its production capacity in the coming years.

Under fire

Bacardi, one of the world’s largest alcohol firms, sells its products into more than 170 countries, with brands including Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grey Goose, Dewar’s, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Royal Brackla, and many others, alongside its flagship rum brand.

It came under fire last year for continuing to sell bottles to Russia despite saying it would stop exporting to the country in light of the war with Ukraine.

As a result, Bacardi was added to a list of “international war sponsors’ compiled by the Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP), with the NACP claiming that Bacardi “continued to supply its products to the Russian Federation for millions of dollars and to look for new employees by publishing job advertisements.”

In December 2018 db reported that Teeling Whiskey had named Maverick Drinks as its exclusive UK distributor. The latest Teelco accounts from 2023 show that the company made an interest-free loan of €12.1 million to Maverick Irish Investments, a company controlled by Stephen Teeling.



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