• French liquor giant Pernod Richard has acquired a majority stake in SA distillery Inverroche. 
  • Inverroche, which uses fynbos to make gin, is distributed to 18 countries on four continents. 
  • CEO Lorna Scott said the acquisition is a vote of confidence in SA's economic prospects. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA

French liquor giant Pernod Ricard, the manufacturer of popular liquor brands such as Absolut Vodka, Chivas, and Jameson, has acquired a majority stake in South African distillery Inverroche

Inverroche, founded in 2011, is based in the rural community of Still Bay in the Western Cape, where it pioneered the use of indigenous fynbos in gin production. 

Founder Lorna Scott will maintain a shareholding in the business, and continue as CEO. 

She said the deal is a vote of confidence in South Africa's economic prospects. 

“[Pernod Ricard’s] vast distribution network will enable Inverroche Gins to reach new consumers,” Scott said.

“We will be taking a luxury African brand to a large audience and sharing the story of our common heritage.” 

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and is expected to close shortly.

Inverroche Founder Lorna Scott (supplied)
Inverroche Founder Lorna Scott (supplied)

Scott started Inverroche as an attempt to protect fynbos in the Western Cape, which is under threat from agricultural development and invasive alien species. It grows nowhere else int he world.

Fynbos, which has long been used medicinal and culinary purposes, gives Inverroche its unique taste and flavour. 

The company produces three gins, Gin Classic, Gin Verdant and Gin Amber, which are now sold in 18 countries on four continents. Its portfolio also includes two rums and three liqueurs.

70% of the distillery’s workforce are women from the surrounding area.

(supplied)
(supplied)

Pernod Ricard already has a strong presence in South Africa, selling and distributing more than 12 liquor brands in the country. 

It also bought shares in South African e-commerce platform Jumia in 2018, after partnering with the company since 2016.

Earlier this year Pernod Ricard acquired US super-premium bourbon brand Rabbit Hole and Italian gin brand Malfy from New York-based Biggar & Leith. 

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