Bacardi has acquired 100% of Patrón Spirits International, which owns Patrón, the spirits brand with a primary focus on ultra-premium tequila, for the enterprise value of $5.1 bn.

Patrón’s leadership team will remain in their roles with Edward Brown as CEO, David R Wilson as chief operating officer and Lee Applbaum as chief marketing officer. Co-founder of the tequila brand, John Paul DeJoria, will become the ambassador for Patrón at Bacardi with the title of chairman emeritus. DeJoria’s main aim is to continue Patrón’s corporate social responsibility now in collaboration with Bacardi.

Bacardi has had a close relationship with Patrón since it acquired a significant majority stake in Patrón Spirits International in 2008.

“Patrón and Bacardi were both founded on the principles of quality, integrity, and innovation, and driven by a sense of fearlessness – it’s in our DNA,” said Facundo L Bacardi, chairman of Bacardi. “It has been a privilege being a partner for a number of years with a remarkable entrepreneur like John Paul DeJoria. John Paul’s vision, integrity, and courage are responsible for introducing the world to simply perfect tequila. As we move forward together, we will continue to pursue perfection as the guiding light in everything Patrón stands for.”

Vice chairman of Bacardi Limited and a member of the board of directors of Patrón since 2008, Barry Kabalkin, added, “Patrón is one of the world’s most coveted spirits brands, and we are thrilled to take our long-standing relationship to the next level. Patrón is a brand that transcends the tequila category and will uniquely complement the Bacardi portfolio of premium brands.”

“As Bacardi has had an ownership stake in Patrón for almost a decade now, and truly knows and appreciates our unique business, they are the best and most logical steward to continue our pursuit of perfection,” commented Patrón president and CEO Edward Brown.

Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi, explained Bacardi’s plan for Patrón, saying: “Adding Patrón 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 Patrón around the world, increasing scale in the US and globally.”

Patrón was founded in 1989 with the mission ‘to create an ultra-premium, luxury tequila’ using traditional methods that rely on people rather than machines, according to DeJoria. The brand offers a range of tequilas, including Patrón Tequila, Gran Patrón and XO Cafe, as well as Ultimat Vodka and Pyrat rum.

Patrón’s US sales totalled $1.6bn in 2016, according to Euromonitor and the brand is responsible for 70% of global sales in the category of ultra-premium tequila.

Bacardi Limited’s brand portfolio currently encompasses more than 200 brands and labels. These include Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Cazadores blue agave tequila, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and Martini vermouth.

Bacardi and Patrón expect to close the acquisition deal in the first half of 2018.