Spirits giant Diageo has purchased cold brew coffee liqueur brand Mr Black. The line joins the likes of Smirnoff, Ketel One, Baileys, and more under the Diageo umbrella.
Amid a worldwide Espresso Martini craze, the rapidly-growing coffee liqueur company was purchased using existing cash funds, according to a Sept. 29 press release.
“With its award-winning liquid, eye-catching design and packaging, and ability to thrive in culture, we believe Mr Black is just getting started in the dynamic coffee liqueur segment,” Diageo U.S. spirits and Canada president Claudia Schubert states in the release. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to acquire high growth brands in exciting categories, and we are delighted to welcome Mr Black into our portfolio.”
Mr Black was created in 2013 by designer Tom Baker and distiller Philip Moore. It’s available in 22 countries worldwide and is best-known for its role in Espresso Martinis. Diageo gained a minority stake in the company in 2015 through Distill Ventures, an accelerator program supported by Diageo. The program, which first partnered with Diageo in 2013, provides support to growing brands using funds from the spirits conglomerate.
Co-founder Baker will remain active on the Mr Black team, working alongside Diageo to further the brand’s growth.
“Diageo understood our vision early on and now, after several years with them as a supporter, we are thrilled to be joining the Diageo family,” Baker says.
The acquisition price was not disclosed.
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