View Full Version : Kirin Buys Four Roses

10-16-2001, 12:30
I didn't see this coming, but it makes perfect sense. Reuters reported today that Japanese brewer Kirin is buying Four Roses (the brand and the distillery) from Diageo/Pernod. The article also reports that the selling price was $165.6 million and worldwide sales of Four Roses Bourbon is about 600,000 cases. The purchase makes sense because Kirin's spirits unit is the Japanese distributor of Four Roses and that unit was founded as a joint venture with Seagrams. The sale should be finalized by the end of the year.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

10-16-2001, 13:48
I am surprised this made the press at this point and I had not checked for it yet today. The reason is I was told they could not announce until the final deal with Pernod-Ricard and with Diageo is completed, since the sale will not be direct from Seagrams to Kirin. But I will say that Jim Rutledge is thrilled for all the right reasons. Had another distiller made the buy there is a great chance the Four Roses distillery could have been closed. Other distillers have capacity. Kirin does not. Four Roses is a major product in Japan and in Europe so a non-US buyer will allow them to keep doing what they are doing. There are some other implications (now you can't just send some product up the road to Indiana since that won't be a Kiriin operation).

Overall, it will be interesting to see whether the Japanese want to sell more bourbon in the US.


10-16-2001, 14:36

Overall I'd say that the Japanese will do anything that puts more good old greenback dollars in their banks. Lets hope that they put Four Roses Single Barrel on the U.S. market. At a reasonable and competative price. No matter how good something tastes it all boils down to whether or not the consumer can afford the product or not. At $40-$45 it would be right in line with; Blanton's, Kentucky Spirit, and Jack Daniels Single Barrel.

I'd much rather see all of those in line with Elmer T. Lee and Even Williams Single Barrel at the $25 price point.

I have a hard time blowing a fifty all to hell for a bottle. $25 is a far more livable and reasonable price.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

10-16-2001, 17:54

The Four Roses Single Barrel is about $30-35 in Japan -- hopefully it will sell here in that range as well.


10-16-2001, 19:41
The fact that Kirin wanted the distillery probably explains why they won the bidding. It was worth more to them than it would have been to someone who only wanted the brand.

On the other hand, Four Roses is such a unique bourbon, I think it would be very tough for anyone else to make it. For a company with existing bourbon distilling capacity, Four Roses would have been problematic, which makes someone like Kirin a logical buyer.

Still, too bad none of us had a few extra hundred million to spare.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

10-17-2001, 15:12
Let's see. There are 220 registered users, here. If each of us put up a million dollars, I bet we could swing it.


10-18-2001, 07:48
Like Steve Martin says, "It's easy to be a millionaire. First, get a million dollars."

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>