Bourbon Industry

A Kentucky bourbon maker announces $266 million deal for Canadian whisky

Bardstown-based Heaven Hill is buying Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and assorted other brands from Constellation Brands for $266 million.
Bardstown-based Heaven Hill is buying Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and assorted other brands from Constellation Brands for $266 million.

Bardstown-based Heaven Hill is adding Black Velvet to its portfolio.

The company announced on Monday that it will purchase the second-biggest brand of Canadian whisky from Constellation Brands.

According to Constellation, the deal is worth $266 million and includes a distillery in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, plus a handful of other Canadian whisky brands produced at that facility: MacNaughton, McMasters, and the international business of the Schenley brands Golden Wedding and OFC.

The sale is expected to close in the second half of the year, according to news releases.

The net sales for the brands included in the transaction totaled $67 million in fiscal year 2019, according to during Constellation.

According to Heaven Hill, “The Black Velvet brand fills an important gap in Heaven Hill’s broad distilled spirits portfolio by substantially expanding sales activities in the Imported Whisky category and fits perfectly with its portfolio of high volume, quality brands like Evan Williams Bourbon, Burnett’s Vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka, Admiral Nelson’s Rums, and Christian Brothers Brandies.”

Canadian whisky sales are the largest segment of imported whiskeys, with almost 17 million cases imported into the U.S. in 2018, according to the release.

Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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