*This article was originally released in July 2023 and updated with additional material in January 2024.
2023 represented a shift in the alcohol industry’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) trends compared to the acquisitions seen in 2020 and 2022. In an environment characterized by inflation and high interest rates, key players exercised caution in their strategic acquisitions last year, and many chose to reposition their portfolios through divestments.
Below are some key highlights from the report:
- The M&A activity in 2023 was categorized across wine, spirits, beer, and a non-alcoholic deal. The spirits category emerged as the frontrunner in terms of mergers and acquisitions, totaling 27 deals, highlighting the enduring popularity and growth potential of spirits within the beverage alcohol industry.
- The wine sector accounted for 11 deals in 2023, followed by beer with 7, and a single non-alcoholic deal.
- Major players like Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, Molson Coors, among others, engaged in strategic divestments to realign their portfolios. This presented opportunities for mid-market players and original founders to get in on the action. Premiumization was a key theme, with consumers showing a preference for premium brands despite the moderation in spending.
- E&J Gallo emerged as the most active strategic player, acquiring four new brands. Bacardi and Lucas Bols also played key roles in the M&A landscape, finalizing strategic acquisitions in line with their long-term planning
Notable Beverage Alcohol Deals in 2023
Noteworthy Spirits Category Deals
- Diageo Acquired Don Papa Rum
- Bacardi Took Control of remaining Jay Z’s D’Ussé Cognac
- Shaw-Ross Acquired TYKU Sake From Diageo
- Pernod Ricard Acquired Skrewball Peanut-Butter Flavored Whiskey
- Beam Suntory Acquired a Stake in Jennifer Lopez’s Delola
- MGP Ingredients Acquired Penelope Bourbon
- Molson Coors Enters Spirits Category with Blue Run Spirits Acquisition
- Ole Smokey Distillery Merged with Tanteo Spirits
- Campari Acquired Courvoisier from Beam Suntory
Noteworthy Wine Category Deals
- Moët Hennessy Invested in Rosé Wine Specialist Château Minuty
- E&J Gallo Winery Added Bev to its Portfolio
- E&J Gallo Winery Purchased Hahn Family Wines
- Constellation Brands Acquired Luxury Napa Brand Domaine Curry
- Treasury Wine Estates Acquired Daou Vineyards
Noteworthy Beer Category Deals
- Full Circle Brewing and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Announced a Merger
- Drake’s Brewing to Acquire Bear Republic Assets
- Stoup Brewing Acquired Optimism Brewing
- Motocross Athlete Carey Hart Acquired House Beer
- 8th Wonder Brewery Acquired by Texas Cannabis Company Bayou City Hemp
- FX Matt Acquired Flying Dog Brewery
- Anheuser-Busch InBev Sold Appalachian Mountain Brewery Back to its Original Owners
- Founders Reclaimed Control of Funky Buddha from Constellation Brands