Grants looking at takeover of Drambuie

The William Grant factory at the Grangestone Industrial estate in Girvan.
The William Grant factory at the Grangestone Industrial estate in Girvan.

William Grant and Sons are said to be looking at a £100m takeover of the Drambuie Brand which has been put up for sale.

Reports this week say that the family owned firm behind the Glenfiddich and Grants brands are among an initial group of bidders for Drambuie.

The Drambuie brand has been put up for sale by the Mackinnon family and other bidders reported to have shown an interest include Remy-Cointreau, the French maker of Remy-Martin cognac, according to industry insiders.

And the £100m price tag puts it within reach of spirit companies looking to expand.

However, it is the interest of William Grant and Sons that will most intrigue people in Girvan due to the company’s premises at the Grangestone Industrial Estate just outside the town.

And it comes hot on the heels of our front page story last week which revealed William Grant and Sons had donated £135,000 to the Better Together campaign ahead of the referendum on Scottish Independence on September 18th.

The Girvan factory has also recently had a visit from Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together Campaign who said he was delighted to be in Girvan to see a real local success story.

Whisky experts say that if William Grant and Sons do purchase Drambuie, it will sit well with the other brands in its portfolio which include Hendricks Gin and the Balvenie Single Malt.

It would also bring two of the industry’s most famous brands together as one.

The liqueur of Drambuie is said to originate back to the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie in July 1746 when he was on the run following his defeat at the Battle of Culloden.

The story goes that Bonnie Prince Charlie was so impressed by the bravery who helped him in his escape from the Isle of Skye that he passed on his secret recipe for the liqueur to John MacKinnon who was the chief of one of the clans.

It also enjoyed big popularity in the United States in the 1930s after the prohibition laws had ended and is enjoyed across the world, particularly as an after dinner drink.

William Grant and Sons is headed up by Stella David, a former chief executive at Bacardi who took up her position back in 2009 and they are said to be keen to expand their share of the market.

William Grant and Sons were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.