Distell to Buy Burn Stewart Distillers for Up to $244m

April 15 (Bloomberg) -- Distell Group Ltd., South Africa’s biggest wine and spirit producer, plans to acquire Scotch whisky producer Burn Stewart Distillers Ltd. for as much as 2.2 billion rand ($244 million).

The company entered into a binding agreement with CL World Brands Ltd. and Angostura Ltd. for Burns Stewart, which owns three malt whisky distilleries, Stellenbosch-based Distell said in a statement today. Distell will make an initial payment of $229 million, net of assumed liabilities, and a contingent payment of as much as $15 million.

Scotch whisky exports increased 87 percent to 4.3 billion pounds ($6.6 billion) in the past decade, Distell said, citing the Scotch Whisky Association. Single malt exports gained 190 percent to 778 million pounds in the same period.

“The acquisition of Burns Stewart provides Distell access to this highly attractive growing category,” the company said. “Burn Stewart’s strong presence in the U.K., Taiwan and other countries provides Distell with enhanced sales platforms and route-to-market opportunities.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net