French beverage firm Pernod Ricard has agreed to purchase alcohol manufacturer and marketer Castle Brands for approximately $223m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pernod Ricard will buy the entire outstanding common stock of Castle Brands by paying $1.27 per share in cash, or around $223m, plus assumed debt, via a cash tender offer followed by a merger.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said: “Through this acquisition, we welcome this great brand portfolio, in particular, Jefferson’s bourbon whiskey, to the Pernod Ricard family. Bourbon is a key category in the US, which is our single most important market.

“This deal aligns well with our consumer-centric strategy to offer our consumers the broadest line-up of high-quality premium brands.

“As with our American whiskies Smooth Ambler, Rabbit Hole and TX, we would provide Jefferson’s a strong route to market and secure its long-term development, while remaining true to its authentic and innovative character.”

Castle Brands develops and markets premium and super-premium brands in the rum, whiskey, liqueurs, vodka and tequila beverage alcohol categories.

The company distributes its products in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, in 13 primary international markets.

Some of the company’s brands include Jefferson’s, Jefferson’s Presidential Select, Jefferson’s Reserve, Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon, Jefferson’s Wine Finish Collection and Jefferson’s Wood Experiments.

Castle Brands’ portfolio also includes Goslings Rums, Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, Knappogue Castle Whiskey, Clontarf Irish Whiskey, Pallini Limoncello, Boru Vodka, Brady’s Irish Cream, The Arran Malt Single Malt Scotch Whisky, The Robert Burns Scotch Whisky and Machrie Moor Scotch Whisky.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, Castle Brands had net sales $22.6m, a 2% decrease from net sales $23.1m in the comparable prior-year period.

Sales of Jefferson’s Bourbon were 22,250 cases in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, experiencing a growth of 4.8% over the comparable prior-year period.

Castle Brands president and CEO Richard Lampen said: “We are very pleased to reach an agreement with Pernod Ricard, which is the result of months of planning and deliberation by our Board of Directors.

“We are confident that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate and substantial cash value to our shareholders.”