Global brewer Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev’s innovation arm ZX Ventures has acquired inventive global spirits group Atom Group and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum. This purchase marks ZX Ventures’ most significant investment into the spirits sector.

Atom Group is composed of three businesses: owner and producer of world-class spirits brands Atom Brands, global online retailer Master of Malts and UK distributor and importer of craft spirits Maverick Drinks.

The deal will give Atom Group access to AB InBev’s global supply meaning the group believes it now has the resources to scale up its operations and distribute its high-quality spirits more widely across the world.

The group reassured consumers its leadership team and its mission to make and select world-class spirits and uniquely present them would remain the same following the acquisition.

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Atom Group founder and managing director Joseph Petszaf said: “This deal is an amazing moment for our business, which has gone from working out of a shed in Kent to one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies.

“We’ve always been a technology-focused business, building our e-commerce platform from scratch to give consumers the best experience possible and we recognised a kindred spirit in ZX Ventures, in its mission to innovate, grow and answer new consumer demands.”

“We’ve done everything so far without any external investment. Although we’ve come a long way since that shed on the farm, we still have so many ideas and so many things we want to build that it would take decades to realise them all without a partner like ZX.

“ZX has bought into what we’re doing here, and they want to help us to do more of it. We would never have partnered with someone who didn’t believe in what we were doing, or would seek to change it.”

Michael Vachon, co-founder of Maverick Drinks, said: “We came here to change the game and I think now we’re supercharged to do so.

‘Practically speaking, nothing is changing from our end… except growth. No changes in management, no changes to our portfolio, and (most importantly) absolutely no changes to the way we work.”

ZX Ventures was founded by AB InBev in 2015 as an innovation subsidiary to identify key trends in ecommerce, brand experience and speciality drinks. The acquisition of Atom Brands follows its purchase of several beer brands, alternative beverages and online retailers, such as Cervejaria Colorada, Brouwerij Bosteels, Kombrewcha and RateBeer.

ZX Ventures e-commerce director Andy Logan said: “We were set up to help other ambitious, innovative businesses unlock their potential, and that’s what this deal is all about.

“We loved the leadership team’s passion and enthusiasm for innovation and saw a really good cultural fit. We’re really excited about welcoming the Atom Group family into ZX Ventures and learning from the e-commerce expertise of the Master of Malt team.”

Although AB InBev has traditionally focused on the beer industry–it owns global beer brands like Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, as well as local and regional brands–it has made its first steps into the spirits industry with a collaboration with US producer of distilled beverage Beam Suntory.