Sector News

Diageo acquires Belsazar through its Distill Ventures accelerator

March 15, 2018
Food & Drink

Diageo has completed the acquisition of German vermouth manufacturer Belsazar for an undisclosed sum.

Belsazar is the first brand Diageo has formally acquired from its start-up accelerator Distill Ventures, who invested in Belsazar in 2014.

Distill Ventures was established in 2013 by Diageo to identify, invest in and accelerate the growth of promising drinks brands, and Diageo earmarked the acquisition of Belsazar due to the growing appetite for spirits which contain lower alcohol levels.

Belsazar’s vermouth features a blend of grapes, herbs and brandy, and is available in four varieties, white, red, dry and rosé.

Diageo claims that Belsazar has performed strongly in the UK and Germany, and the brand’s products are available from over 750 locations in Germany.

Maximilian Wagner, co-founder of Belsazar, said: “Today is the first day of an exciting new chapter for Belsazar as we integrate into Diageo’s portfolio of world-class brands.

“Our ambition right from the beginning in 2013 has been to share our aperitif with as many people as possible and we’re excited that this next step will help bring the spirit of Berlin to new consumers.”

Sebastian Brack, co-founder of Belsazar said: “Working with Distill Ventures these past few years has given us an invaluable base of knowledge and experience that we’ll undoubtedly call on as we continue to grow the business with Diageo in Europe.”

David Gates, Managing Director of Diageo Futures, said: “We are thrilled that Belsazar is joining our wonderful portfolio of brands. Diageo is the home of many founder-led brands from Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Guinness to newer brands like Bulleit.

“Partnering with entrepreneurs like Max and Sebastian, and nurturing the global drinks brands of the future is core to our strategy.

“It’s been very exciting to follow Belsazar’s development and we look forward to working to deliver the next phase of the brand’s growth.”

Frank Lampen, CEO and Global Head of Distill Ventures added “Belsazar was one of the first Distill Ventures investments and we’ve worked closely with the founders over the past four years.

“This first acquisition is therefore a very exciting moment for us, Diageo and the Belsazar team. Diageo have a great new brand and Max and Sebastian can continue to realise their vision for Belsazar with the full resources and expertise of the world’s largest drinks company.

“This success story is proof that venturing adds value to both corporates and entrepreneurs and we look forward to welcoming more great founders to Distill Ventures.”

Source: FoodBev

comments closed

Related News

January 15, 2022

DSM forges F&B business group integrating taste, texture and health know-how

Food & Drink

Health and nutrition giant DSM is showcasing a new integrated F&B operating structure that unifies food specialties, hydrocolloids and nutritional products. Positioned as a business group, it will harness the gamut of taste, texture and health solutions to manufacturers in the F&B sector.

January 15, 2022

Keeping food transparent: F&B suppliers talk eliminating bias and the pitfalls of eco-labeling

Food & Drink

FoodIngredientsFirst speaks to key suppliers Corbion, Agrana Fruit and Kerry to discuss what core strategies are helping keep food businesses up-to-speed with their environmental reporting while remaining bias-free.

January 15, 2022

Titanium dioxide EU ban comes into force, companies have six months to adjust

Food & Drink

France banned the use of the additive in 2020, leading companies such as Lonza to launch Vcaps Plus White Opal, its first commercially-available titanium dioxide-free semi-opaque capsule for food supplements. The move followed several lobby groups urging the European Commission to prohibit TiO2.

Send this to a friend