INTERNATIONAL Beverage, owner of the Scotch whisky firm formerly called Inver House Distillers, has acquired one of New Zealand’s leading spirits producers.

The company, which owns Old Pulteney, Speyburn and Balblair single malts and Caorunn Gin, has struck a deal to take over the Cardrona Distillery and visitor centre near Wanaka in the Crown Range Mountains.

The deal includes Cardrona’s portfolio of super-premium brands such as Cardrona single malt whisky, The Reid Vodka, The Source Gin, and the Rose Rabbit liqueurs, giving it a foothold in New Zealand’s “dynamic” New World spirits category.

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It comes shortly after Thai-owned International Beverage acquired the Larsen Cognac business of France from Anora Group.

The company said that, further to the Cardrona deal, it will focus investment on the New Zealand firm’s purpose-built distillery site and maximise the potential of Cardrona’s brands in their core New Zealand, UK, and US markets, while developing new routes to market.

Cardrona will continue to be led by Desiree Reid, who founded the distillery in 2015, as managing director.

She said: “This is an exciting day for all of us at Cardrona Distillery. Building Cardrona has been a remarkable journey, made possible through the work and support of many, many people. I’m thrilled that International Beverage shares our belief in Cardrona’s quality and potential as we embark upon the next chapter of our story together. I look forward to working with their team to bring our spirits to more people in markets around the world in the future.”

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Malcolm Leask, managing director (UK) of International Beverage said: “A warm welcome to Desiree and everyone at Cardrona Distillery to International Beverage.

"We are delighted to have their skilled team and exceptional craft spirits join our business. The team has done an excellent job in building Cardrona’s super-premium brands to date with so much integrity, quality, and potential for the future. We are very much looking forward to working with them to build on their success within our international network, as we strengthen our premium spirits portfolio for the global market.”