The world of celebrity booze is having a big week. Fighter Conor McGregor got bought out of his Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey brand while canned cocktail contenders Five Drinks are searching for an a-list investor.
McGregor Set To Snag Whiskey Purse
Catalyzed by a series of assault charges and sporting decline, McGregor’s public stature plummeted over the past few years. However, his whiskey brand, Proper No. Twelve is booming. In fact, the spirit proved so popular that a large conglomerate is set to buy out the MMA star’s entire stake in the outfit.
Becle, the parent company of Jose Cuervo as well as Bushmills, Three Olives Vodka, and Kraken Rum, announced plans to acquire Proper Twelve.
Deep in Becle’s 2020 financial report, the directors wrote, “On February 23, 2021, the Company provided notice of the exercise of its call option to acquire 51% of the equity interests of EBS.”
‘EBS’ refers to Eire Born Spirits, the whiskey company’s formal name. EBS is a partnership between McGregor, his manager, Paradigm Sports Management CEO Audie Attar, and spirits guy Ken Austin.
The afore mentioned 51% represents the portion of Proper No. Twelve still owned by EBS. Becle purchased a 20% share in the company around the time of its 2018 launch and then reportedly upped their stake to 49% in 2020.
Notably, the new ownership was noncommittal when asked if the pro fighter would remain involved in the brand. A rep for Becle only offered, “We expect to announce further details upon the closing of the transaction.”
If McGregor is looking for a new investment in the sector, he’s in luck.” RTD up-and-comer Five Drinks (we liked their product) is shopping for a new owner… but only a celebrity.
Five Drinks new marketing campaign, developed by GUT, features a print and video appeal from founder and CEO Felipe Szpigel to potential celeb investors.
“All your big celebrity buddies own a gin brand, tequila brand, a mezcal brand. But today you can become a partner in the fastest growing segment in the beverage space,” the ads urge.
Szpigel adds that the brand basically sells itself, “which means you can keep using your acting talents for acting, rather than shameless self promotion of your liquor brand, like others.”