The two companies are merging their spirits interests in the US to create a combined Terlato Artisan Spirits division. Owned equally by the two parties, the joint venture will be led by Terlato CEO, William Terlato, in the interim, until a CEO for the spirits division is appointed.
It will operate as an independent commercial division within the Terlato Wine Group. The new entity will begin trading from February 2016, servicing spirits markets across the US from its base in the Chicago area in Illinois.
Commenting on the move, Steven Nathan, MD Distell International, said the combined operation would not only strengthen both companies in the highly competitive US spirits market, but it would also set them up for long-term growth in the US.
William Terlato said the deal marked a transformation of his company's spirits business and the evolution of its position in the spirits industry.
He added: “Distell brings a portfolio of world-class spirits brands that complement our own Terlato Artisan Spirits portfolio.”
Nathan confirmed Distell had also inked a long-term agreement with the Terlato Wine Group to capitalise on the growing international interest in the South African wine category. The US company would import four of its key wine brands - Nederburg, Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle and Two Oceans.
Terlato said: “These wines are an excellent addition to our portfolio. We’ve been a big believer in South African wines for years. There is major untapped marketplace potential for high-quality South African wines, and we’re looking forward to working with our partners at Distell to bring these exceptional wines to more USA consumers.”