Zamora Company acquires majority stake in Martin Miller’s Gin

The Zamora Company, the Spanish family-run drinks business, has acquired a majority stake in Martin Miller’s Gin.

The activity supports the prediction that we are likely to see more takeovers of gin brands this year, as reported in the January issue of DRN. Martin Miller is the latest in a small string of purchases by big drinks giants - with other notable gin acquisitions including Sipsmith and Monkey 47 - but to date the bigger drinks companies have been slower to pick from the thriving craft gin category. Experts believe this is set to change in the months ahead as the craft gin market continues to grow.

James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, told DRN: "The leading brands are still produced by the big guys but I think people will be drinking these less often and people will become more and more artisan in their choices, such that those big producers will need to start buying smaller ones to bolster their brands."

Zamora, a global producer and distributor of premium brands, said it has a vision “to be recognised as one of the most dynamic players in the beverages market” and ceo Emilio Restoy said the acquisition of Martin Miller's “perfectly reflects our vision”.

As part of the agreement, co-founders David Bromige and Andreas Versteegh, and ceo Jacob Ehrenkrona, have retained an interest in the brand through Living Capital’s 45% shareholding, making them the only other shareholder.

Bromige and Ehrenkrona will remain in their current positions as creative director and ceo. Emilio Restoy has replaced Andreas Versteegh as chairman of the board but Versteegh will continue as board member with focus on NPD of Martin Miller’s Gin.

Commenting on the new partnership, ceo Jacob Ehrenkrona said: “As well as being the fastest-growing Super Premium Gin in the Spanish market, Martin Miller’s Gin has also seen strong growth in other key gin markets such as Central Europe and the UK. Sales have been particularly strong in the UK where they grew 50% in 2017, adding to a total global volume of 100,000 cases 8.4L.

“However, in this partnership with Zamora Company, we will be able to considerably increase investment in brand building in the middle term. What is more, together we can break into new international markets by capitalising on the sales capacity of Zamora Company without compromising on the product’s identity or its genuine spirit.”

Restoy agreed: “Martin Miller’s Gin has all the ingredients to build on its role as a leading Super Premium gin worldwide.”

And Versteegh added: “Martin Miller’s Gin is recognised as one of the best gins in the world and no other gin has received so many accolades and awards in recent years. Innovation and the constant quest for perfection are the origins of Martin Miller’s Gin.

“Integrating the company and our team into Zamora Company is going to be very simple. Both companies share many values and perhaps this has been a key factor towards reaching an agreement. They simply ‘get it’. They share our vision. With this partnership the brand will get the necessary support to grow further.”

Bromige noted that gin as a category is now “hot” and as a result he said the category “has become confused”.

“From the start, back in 1998, we wanted to create a gin that was a ‘brand’ in the true sense of the word, and through innovation create the highest quality gin possible but with genuine and effective product differences like Icelandic water. It is these qualities that have given the brand its high level of integrity and, importantly, trust.”

The Zamora Company portfolio includes recent additions such as Sangria Premium Lolea, Villa Massa Limoncello and Yellow Rose American craft whiskey.

“These acquisitions are part of the Zamora Company strategic plan with which we aim to constantly add value to the company with people and brands in order to enable us to reach our established goals of building a world class company with world class brands,” said Restoy.