Pernod Ricard has signed an agreement to acquire a majority share in Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Whiskey.

The transaction was performed through Pernod Ricard USA’s new brand ventures division.

Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard said:  “This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value. Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit.

“Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end Bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories. We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.”

Rabbit Hole operates a distillery in the heart of Louisville and offers straight bourbon and rye whiskeys that are claimed to have been produced using selected grains, distilled in copper Vendome column stills and aged in native oak barrels. Founder Kaveh Zamanian said: “Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned.

“By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American Whiskey. In partnership with Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”

Expected to close shortly, the deal will see Zamanian continue to operate Rabbit Hole. In the US, the company will be part of Pernod Ricard’s new brand ventures portfolio along with recently acquired brands Smooth Ambler and Del Maguey.

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In April this year, Pernod Ricard signed an agreement with Biggar & Leith to acquire Italian gin brand Malfy.