Beam Suntory has acquired a 50% equity stake in South African spirits distributor ABV Brands from Cyprus-based FIX Wines & Spirits.

ABV Brands’ co-founders and management team will continue to hold the remaining 50% interest.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions.

ABV Brands has distributed Beam Suntory products since 2010. During that period, the company increased sales of Beam Suntory’s brands by over 260%.

As per the deal, ABV Brands will continue its focus on distributing its entire current spirits portfolio in South Africa.

The brand will continue to be managed by its co-founders and managing directors, Ross Calow and Dan Hawkins.

Beam Suntory International president Albert Baladi said: "The African spirits market has phenomenal growth potential for Beam Suntory and our global whisky and cognac portfolio is ideally suited to capture the growth of premium spirits.

"This partnership gives us a beachhead, and we will continue to look for opportunities to become a key player in Sub-Saharan Africa by expanding our footprint, growing our brands and securing strong routes to market."

ABV Brands managing director Daniel Hawkins said: "We know the South African market inside out and see a clear opportunity here to grow Beam Suntory’s share.

"This deal will allow us to more aggressively target that growth by aligning our strategies and investment priorities."