Japanese company Beam Suntory have announced plans to acquire London-based gin distiller Sipsmith.
Sipsmith have confirmed the decision through a statement, however no exact figures for the takeover have been formally disclosed.
“We have found the perfect partners to take Sipsmith to all four corners of the globe, and do so whilst retaining our quality gin, astonishing team and Chiswick distillery in London,” said co-founder Sam Galsworthy.
Historically, London was a renowned location for its gin production, however Sipsmith is the first copper-pot distillery to open within London in almost two centuries. Sipsmith was founded in 2009, and the craft brewer distills both Vodka and Gin alcoholic spirits.
It is to join the Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands that operate under the Beam Suntory beverage umbrella. Beam Suntory is the third largest spirits company in the world, and is attempting to diversify assets outside Japan as sales in their domestic market continue to show weak signs of growth.
The sale will encourage growth of the gin label on an international scale, benefiting from Beam Suntory’s global presence. As of currently, over two-thirds of Sipsmith’s sales are within its local UK market. Despite the takeover, Beam have confirmed that Sipsmith would continue to be run the operation from its Chiswick location by its original founders.
According to HM Revenue & Customs, to accommodate the public’s growing taste for craft brews, 40 gin distilleries opened in 2016 alone – a contrast from 2010, with only 116 in total distilleries in the UK.
Gin sales have enjoyed record sales this year, surpassing £1 billion in UK sales for the first time, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. In the month of October, sales of the beverage were up 14 percent and 19 percent in terms of value, leading many in the drinks industry to name 2016 “the year of gin”.