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MGP To Pay Over $100 Million For Penelope Bourbon

Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story reflected an incorrect number regarding the acquisition cost of Penelope Bourbon by MGP.

In a move which showcases the continued economic winds of fortune for a good number of American whiskey brands, MGP announced today it is spending over $100 million to acquire Penelope Bourbon.

The acquisition of the non-distilling producer, which will close by sometime next month, consists of $105 million upfront, with “further potential earn-out contingent consideration of up to a maximum cash payout of” $110.8 million by December, 2025, “if certain performance conditions are met, reflecting the brand’s current growth potential.” This purchase, being handled through MGP subsidiary Luxco, is a complete buyout, including all of Penelope’s intellectual property and inventory of bottled product, as well as their aging whiskey inventory .

Penelope Bourbon, for those unfamiliar with it, was founded in 2o18 and is said to have become one of the country’s fastest-growing whiskey brands. Named after the founder’s daughter, Penelope boasts a series of straight bourbon whiskey expressions that are all blended from three different mash bills. Today, it is sold in over 30 states and 4 countries, and alongside the cornerstone offerings occasionally releases new limited edition bottlings.

Penelope Bourbon MGP
In a move which showcases the continued economic winds of fortune for a good number of American whiskey brands, MGP announced today it is spending over $100 million to acquire Penelope Bourbon. (image via MGP)

Penelope, not surprisingly, is a MGP customer.

“MGP has been an incredible partner of ours since we started our business in 2018,” said Michael Paladini, CEO & Founder of Penelope, in a prepared statement. “We are excited to take our partnership to the next level with the goal of accelerating Penelope’s growth for years to come.

“Since our initial product launch in 2019, it has been amazing to watch consumers embrace our brand,” added Daniel Polise, COO & Founder of Penelope. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with MGP and building on our legacy.”

“We are excited to welcome Penelope as part of our expanding premium-plus brand portfolio,” noted David Colo, president and CEO of MGP Ingredients. “This acquisition aligns well with our premiumization strategy and our focus on growing high potential, high margin brands. Penelope is an excellent addition to our Branded Spirits portfolio as we look to expand its availability throughout our national distribution platform.

“We are enthusiastic about this acquisition and its ability to further our participation in the growing American Whiskey category while delivering meaningful long-term growth.”

It was not immediately clear if Penelope would be folded into the Lux Row Distillers’ line up of products or left be more more independent under the Luxco banner.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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