Bacardi completes purchase of Ilegal Mezcal

11 September, 2023

Bacardi Limited has announced the completion of its acquisition of super-premium artisanal mezcal brand, Ilegal Mezcal.

The deal sees the family-owned spirits group assume sole ownership of the brand having first partnered with Ilegal in 2015.

“Bacardi and Ilegal have a shared commitment to communities, quality, and environmental sustainability that we will build upon together as we look to invest for the long term,” said Mahesh Madhavan, Bacardi Limited chief executive officer. “As a family-owned business for seven generations, we are always building for the future to maintain the legacy that is Bacardi.”

The IWSR forecasts the super-premium mezcal category to grow at 16% CAGR over the next five years, with the agave spirits category expected to become the sixth-largest category globally by 2027.

“We believe that Ilegal has the credentials to own and lead the super-premium mezcal category at a global level,” said Barry Kabalkin, vice chairman of Bacardi Limited.

“Ilegal perfectly complements our portfolio and bringing it into our business sets the brand up for even greater growth as mezcal captivates more and more consumers,”

Ilegal Mezcal was created by John Rexer in 2006 after working with distillers in Oaxaca to make mezcal for his bar in Guatemala.

“We are excited about the next stage of the journey,” said Rexer. “Success for Ilegal goes beyond seeing more of our bottles on shelves; it’s about building our business the right way.

“We will always be committed to artisanal production, the Oaxacan community, and our core values. Being a part of Bacardi will bring Ilegal to a larger audience while maintaining our commitment to sustainability and growing the business responsibly.”

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