Babco UK has reached agreement to acquire 50% equity in premium rum brand Neptune Rum.

Neptune Rum is a smooth pot and column stilled rum aged in American bourbon oak casks.

Babco UK said the investment reflects its current growth trajectory, which sees it move into brand ownership as a complement to its extensive service offer and anticipated strong potential of the spirit.

With more than 135 years of combined industry experience and a network spanning on and off-trade, Babco UK creates, manages and distributes brands for leading drinks companies from around the world. Its spirits portfolio includes Tofka Vodka, Oranjeboom, Míl Gin and a series of white-labels.

Chris Bowen, MD of Babco UK commented: “We are delighted to announce this investment in Neptune Rum which shows our commitment and passion for the rum category in the UK. This acquisition is part of our plan to move further into brand ownership and support premiumisation.

“We were initially attracted by the strength of Neptune Rum’s brand identity and values which are backed by exceptional quality and natural ingredients.

“There is an excitement in the rum segment today, and with over 65 global awards, Neptune Rum is the most exciting brand to watch. We are confident that with our expertise in building and growing drinks brands, we will continue to drive growth and set them up as a global brand.”

James Strickland, CEO of Neptune Rum commented: “We are really excited by Babco UK’s investment in Neptune Rum. We are so passionate about quality, sustainability and supporting ocean clean-up initiatives, which is something Babco shares. 

“This investment provides us with a fantastic opportunity to tell our story, share our exceptional rums and expand our ocean clean-up programs on a much larger scale. We are thrilled to enter this new chapter with Babco by our side.”

Neptune Rum was founded in the UK in 2017 as a premium rum. It launched with Neptune Rum Barbados Gold. Neptune Rum Caribbean Spiced launched in 2020 and five new rums are under development with plans to launch in 2021.