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French spirits group Pernod Ricard has acquired a 90% stake in Canada’s largest ready-to-drink sector player at an enterprise value of CAD165m (£99m).

It has made the acquisition through its Corby Spirit and Wine subsidiary, which will have a path to full ownership of ABG through two options in 2025 and 2028.

Established in 2020, through the merger of Cottage Springs (founded 2013) and Ace Hill (founded 2015), Ace Beverage Group has become a Canadian RTD leader.

Its flagship brand Cottage Springs is the leading RTD brand in Ontario, with bestselling products that include Cottage Springs Vodka Soda, Vodka Water and Tequila Soda.

Pernod said this acquisition enables Corby to add scale, expertise, agility and efficiencies in the “dynamic” Canadian RTD category.

“Canada is one of the top global RTD markets and RTDs are one of the fastest growing beverage alcohol categories, enjoying +20% year on year growth between 2016 and 2021, and expected to pursue double-digit rate increases in coming years,” it stated.

Additionally, ABG will benefit from Corby’s extensive distribution network to support its brands in further growing their presence across Canada.

Nicolas Krantz, President and CEO of Corby commented: “Corby’s sustained growth, as well as Pernod Ricard’s, relies on our ability to bring even more exciting choices to our consumers, by continually expanding into new and promising categories. RTDs are one such category and we are excited to partner with such visionary entrepreneurs to further develop our rich portfolio of RTDs now made up of ABG, Corby and Pernod Ricard brands.”

Cam McDonald, co-founder of Ace Beverage Group, added: “We are thrilled to join Corby, and are extremely proud of Ace’s journey and accomplishments to date. As we begin this next chapter, we believe the combined expertise, experience and resources will help our businesses take the next step in our shared ambition of continuing to develop industry-leading beverages for consumers.”

Morning update

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is up 0.2% to 7,582pts.

Risers include Kerry Group, up 2.3% to €89.52, Virgin Wines, up 1.6% to 32p and Marks & Spencer, up 1.3% to 190.3p.

Fallers include Bakkavor, down 2.1% to 95p, Deliveroo, down 1.3% to 102.5p and AG Barr, down 0.8% to 481.5p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 opened the week up 0.1% to 7,570.6pts.

Risers yesterday included Ocado, up 3.6% to 400.6p, Naked Wines, up 3.4% to 177p, THG, up 3.3% to 64p, PayPoint, up 2.5% to 445p and Deliveroo, up 2.3% to 103.8p.

Fallers included Kerry Group, down 4.7% to €87.50, AG Barr, down 2.3% to 485.5p, Reckit Benckiser, down 0.7% to 5,990p, Virgin Wines, down 0.6% to 31.5p and Premier Foods, down 0.6% to 131.6p.