Pernod Ricard SA is among bidders in an auction for Utah-based whiskey maker High West Distillery, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investment bank UBS Group AG has been mandated to handle the sale of the seven-year-old distiller, said two of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The brand could fetch about $100 million, one person said.
A Pernod Ricard spokesman said the Paris-based company never comments on deal speculation. High West didn’t immediately respond to a call and an e-mail placed outside of its business hours.
American whiskies such as bourbon and rye are growing at a faster pace than Scotch in the U.S., where consumers are increasingly purchasing spirits from smaller producers over mass-market brands. Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest distiller, has not owned an American whiskey brand since selling Wild Turkey to Campari in 2009.
Founded in 2009 by biochemist David Perkins and his wife Jane, High West was the first legally licensed distillery in Utah after Prohibition ended, according to its website.