Austin billionaire DeJoria selling off Patron Spirits


Bacardi Limited said Monday that plans to swallow the rest of Patron Spirits in a deal that values the tequila maker at $5.1 billion.

Bacardi has held a minority stake in Patron since 2008. The two private companies on Monday didn’t disclose terms of the deal for the remainder of Patron.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of this year.

Patron Spirits was co-founded by Austin billionaire John Paul DeJoria. Patron’s current top executives will remain in place, and DeJoria will become chairman emeritus and focus on philanthropy, the company said.

DeJoria and his wife, Eloise, have maintained a residence in Austin since 1997. DeJoria co-founded hair-care company John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980. He co-founded Patrón Spirits in 1989, when DeJoria and friend Martin Crowley came up with the idea of creating an ultra-premium tequila brand. Crowley died in 2003, and DeJoria became principal owner of the company in 2008.

Last year DeJoria, 73, had an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Bacardi is known for its namesake rum, but it also owns several other liquor brands including Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin and Dewar’s whiskey.

Patron will join its tequila stable that also includes Cazadores and Corzo.

The merger will give incoming Bacardi CEO Mahesh Madhavan a prestigious brand as he works to expand Bacardi’s global footprint. The executive, who is poised to take the reins on April 1, plans to boost sales by getting overseas consumers to trade up from local spirits.

Bermuda-based Bacardi accounted for 5.8 percent of the total alcoholic beverage market in 2017, according to data from IRI, a research firm.

“Adding Patron to the Bacardi portfolio creates a tremendous opportunity for the brand outside of the United States as Bacardi’s international distribution network will help grow Patron around the world, increasing scale in the U.S. and globally,” Madhavan said in a written statement.

Additional material from the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.



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