Status Quo singer buys whisky as KPMG sells off brands

30 April, 2010

Status Quo front man Francis Rossi is investing in a former First Quench whisky, and will be heading up the marketing campaign for the brand.

The singer said he first encountered the Glen Rossie blend when it was served to him on tour in a Rusty Nail cocktail, by a PA who thought he would be amused by the similarity with his surname.

New business the Brand Cellar has now bought Glen Rossie from FQR administrator KPMG.

Rossi has taken a 30% stake in the company, and will be its chairman, but does not expect to play an active part in the commercial side of the company.

“Most people in [the music] business make a few bob and we pretend we’re businessmen,” he told OLN. “These guys know what they’re doing – I’m just a figurehead. I don’t have business acumen in any field other than music.”?The Glen Rossie label has been redesigned in the shape of a plectrum. Rossi said it was too early to talk about wider marketing but added there was talk of producing a “rock ‘n’ roll hip flask”.

He said: “I’m not really a drinker but when I first tried Glen Rossie four or five years ago I thought it was very pleasant. Unlike some whiskies, it doesn’t make me shudder, it’s smooth.

“I’m quite excited about it. This has all happened very quickly.”?David Birchall, chief executive officer of the Brand Cellar, said: “Glen Rossie has a tremendous whisky heritage and as we approach its 200th anniversary in 2014 we have the ambition to turn it into a global brand.

“We are exploring a number of opportunities to support our sales and distribution strategy and intend to announce those plans soon after the conclusion of our discussions.” A spokeswoman for KPMG said the administrator was inviting offers for First Quench’s exclusive brands portfolio, which includes wines such as Vineyard X and Flinders, as well as Victory gin and Imperial vodka.

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