Lion has announced it is acquiring a minority stake in premium spirits distributor Vanguard Luxury Brands.
Vanguard distributes brands including Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin and Michter’s whiskey.
Vanguard Founder and Managing Director James France said: “This investment means we will go even further in providing the best brands for the best bars and retailers, and for that reason we are truly at the forefront of Australia’s flourishing craft and premium spirits industry,” France said.
“I look forward to continuing to lead the Vanguard business as Managing Director. The culture and focus on premium brands that Vanguard is known for will be maintained, and we are enormously proud of this.”
Today’s announcement follows Lion’s recent partnership with Four Pillars Gin.
Vanguard has been Four Pillars’ distributor since the brand’s launch in 2013 and has recently signed a new long-term distribution agreement with the Healesville-based distiller, so the same craft spirits experts will continue to sell Four Pillars to bars, retailers, restaurants and pubs across Australia.
Lion Managing Director James Brindley (above left) said the simultaneous deals between Lion and Four Pillars and Vanguard are a fortunate outcome for Lion as it enters the growing crafted, premium spirits category.
“James France is widely recognised and respected within the premium spirits industry here and around the world,” he said. “James and his team at Vanguard have been working closely with influential bartenders, hospitality operators and retailers for over a decade. Vanguard is a fabulous business and we at Lion will work hard to ensure we support Vanguard in continued service and engagement with our customers.
“This partnership is a combination of two strong businesses with complementary strengths and we are excited to see the growth that will come.”
Lion also announced last week that it had acquired a 100% stake in leading UK craft brewer Magic Rock Brewing Company.