Never Never Distilling Co acquired by Asahi Beverages

Never Never Distilling Co, a highly acclaimed South Australian gin distillery, has been acquired by Asahi Beverages for an undisclosed sum. The distillery will now join the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) stable, with all Never Never products to be sold through CUB.

Founded in 2016 by George Georgiadis, Tim Boast and Sean Baxter, Never Never has quickly established itself as a leader in the $3.8 billion premium spirits segment. The distillery has won numerous awards, including World's Best Classic Gin and World's Best London Dry at the World Gin Awards.

Transaction snapshot

  • Deal value: N/A
  • Deal multiples: N/A
  • Deal type: Acquisition
  • Investors: Asahi Beverages via its subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries

Asahi Beverages Group CEO Amanda Sellers said the acquisition was driven by recognition of Never Never's incredible brand and success. CUB CEO Danny Celoni believes the two companies are a terrific fit, with shared attributes of premium products, commitment to quality and a strong hospitality offering.

The acquisition fills an important gap in CUB's portfolio and will help the internationally recognised Aussie gin achieve the scale it deserves through Asahi's distribution network. The distillery sells about 100,000 bottles of premium gin annually, with retail sales approaching $10 million.

For Never Never's co-founders, partnering with CUB is the necessary next stage of growth, allowing them to realise their vision of changing and growing Australia's gin market. With Asahi's expertise and customer relationships, Never Never can expand in a way they've always aspired to.

The three co-founders will remain in their roles, with the acquisition not affecting day-to-day operations. However, it will allow Never Never to reach a broader range of customers and provide better support for existing ones.

The acquisition continues a trend of small players with solid track records being acquired by big liquor companies, such as Lion Group taking full ownership of Four Pillars Gin in mid-2023.

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