NEWS: Lion acquires stake in Vanguard

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Lion has acquired a minority stake in the premium spirits distributor Vanguard Luxury Brands. The deal has been completed in conjunction with Lion’s 50% acquisition of Four Pillars Gin. The two deals signal to the market Lion’s entry into the premium spirits category.

Vanguard has been the distributor for Four Pillars Gin since the brand’s launch in 2013 and has recently signed a new long-term distribution agreement with the Healesville-based distiller.

Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers advised Vanguard Luxury Brands on all aspects of the transaction.

The Russell Kennedy team was led by Senior Associate Kate Littlewood and supported by Principal's Andrew Aitken and Rohan Harris.

Vanguard Founder and Managing Director James France said the deal with Lion is a logical next step.

“This investment means we will go even further in providing the best brands for the best bars and retailers, and for that reason we are truly at the forefront of Australia’s flourishing craft and premium spirits industry,” France said.

“I look forward to continuing to lead the Vanguard business as Managing Director. The culture and focus on premium brands that Vanguard is known for will be maintained, and we are enormously proud of this.”

Lion Managing Director James Brindley said the simultaneous deals between Lion, Four Pillars and Vanguard are a fortunate outcome for Lion as it enters the growing premium spirits category.

“James France is widely recognised and respected within the premium spirits industry here and around the world,” Brindley said.

“James and his team at Vanguard have been working closely with influential bartenders, hospitality operators and retailers for over a decade. Vanguard is a fabulous business and we at Lion will work hard to ensure we support Vanguard in continued service and engagement with our customers.

“This partnership is a combination of two strong businesses with complementary strengths and we are excited to see the growth that will come.”

Lion acquiring a minority stake in Vanguard Luxury brands has been reported on by the Australasian Lawyer. You can read the article here.

Further assistance:

For assistance regarding mergers and acquisitions, please contact Kate Littlewood, Andrew Aitken or Rohan Harris.

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