Sazerac has reached a deal to acquire Texas-based ready-to-drink alcohol brand Buzzballz, according to a statement from both companies. Buzzballz was founded by Merilee Kick in 2009 and today is one of the fastest-growing Ready-to-drink brands in the world, operating across all 50 US states and 27 countries.

“Merrilee and the team at BuzzBallz have created incredible brands and we are both honored & excited to partner together to take them to the next level,” said Sazerac CEO and President, Jake Wenz. “Merrilee’s creativity, commitment to quality, and drive is inspiring. BuzzBallz is truly one-of-a-kind and we can’t wait to help spread the products to more consumers all over the world.”

RTDs are one of the hottest categories in the US market going into 2024. The category is approaching $11 billion in off-premise sales and makes up almost 12% of total alcohol dollar sales according to Nielsen IQ. 

Buzzballs are an easily portable mixed drink in an innovative ball-shaped package.  The BuzzBallz portfolio includes ready-to-drink beverages like BIGGIES, Uptown Cocktails, Sip Sip Hooray, and Texas Craft, along with other brands. Buzzballz flavors include products such as Choc Tease, Strawberry Rita, Watermelon Smash, Cran Blaster, Forbidden Apple, Tequila Rita, Horchata, Lotta Colada, Peachballz, Hazelnut Latte, Chili Mango, Pineapple Colada, Cookie Nookie, Pineapple Jalapeno, Eggnog, Espresso Martini, Peach Chiller, Choco Chiller, among many others. 

Merrilee Kick, CEO of BuzzBallz said: “As a trailblazer in the ready-to-drink space, we have received many inquiries to acquire the company, however, Sazerac matched our innovative culture and spirit best. They are a partner we can continue to grow with internationally, as well as expand our existing distribution footprint in the USA. We are excited about our future growth opportunities from the synergies we will create together.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Kick will stay on as CEO to continue the success of BuzzBallz, according to the release. 

Hear more from Merrilee Kick during our recent interview on the Park Street Insider Podcast: 


More Resources on Mergers & Acquisitions

 Interview with Molson Coors’ Blue Run Spirits

A Recap of All Major M&A Deals in 2023

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