Firestone & Robertson acquired by Pernod Ricard; sale includes Whiskey Ranch

Photo by Courtney Dabney

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., owner of the TX brand, a leading whiskey portfolio headquartered in Fort Worth, is being acquired by Pernod Ricard USA, the company announced Aug. 5.

The TX brand range includes super-premium whiskey and bourbon. TX Blended Whiskey, launched in 2012, is a smooth-drinking, award-winning brand that has already garnered a passionate following. The full TX range espouses the brand’s rugged elegance; the bottle tops are hand made from boot leather, the canvas neck wraps are a nod to pioneer covered wagons and the silver band around the base of every bottle represents a polished symbol of Western culture. With this deal, Pernod Ricard once again is expanding its portfolio to include brands with unique and comprehensive value propositions.

The deal includes Whiskey Ranch, a state-of-the-art distillery minutes from downtown Fort Worth.

“This is an exciting day for all of us at Firestone & Robertson. Building our company and producing award-winning whiskies has been a truly remarkable experience. We are so proud of our team, and grateful to the many people that supported our efforts over the years. It is an extraordinary opportunity to partner with Pernod Ricard, and we are confident this relationship will accelerate the growth of our brands while preserving our roots and shared core values,” said Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, Founders of Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., in a news release.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

This transaction is expected to close shortly. White & Case LLP and Deloitte Finance served as legal counsel and transaction services support to Pernod Ricard, respectively, and Nomura Securities International and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as exclusive financial advisor and counsel, respectively, to Firestone & Robertson with respect to the transaction.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said “The addition of TX, which is an exceptional super premium whiskey blended by skilled Texan craftsmen, represents a very promising venture which strengthens our portfolio and footprint in the United States.”

Paul Duffy, Chairman & CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, said “The TX Blended Whiskey distinguishes itself as a brand poised for tremendous growth. The team at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. have done an excellent job developing the brand, and we are keen to build on this success. We will continue to reinforce the community of loyal TX brand ambassadors, both as we expand distribution and as we welcome consumers to the Whiskey Ranch.”

Firestone co-founded Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., or F&R, in 2010 with Robertson, the first craft bourbon and whiskey distillery in North Texas.

- Advertisement -

The timing was right, as craft distilleries were just taking off. F&R released its first whiskey brand, TX Blended Whiskey, in June 2012 and quickly swept up several awards. The highly-anticipated, first-ever North Texas straight bourbon, TX Bourbon, was released in December 2016 and lines stretched around the block to taste and purchase the bourbon.

Not bad for two friends who began their careers in political science (Robertson) and oil and gas (Firestone).

“If you’ve bought some of our whiskey or bourbon, you helped build this,” Firestone told the crowd during a tour of Whiskey Ranch, which opened in 2017..

Whiskey Ranch sits on what was once the site of the historic Glen Garden Country Club, where legends Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sandra Palmer began their careers. F&R has preserved the famous grounds, maintaining the golf course for charity and private events.

- Advertisement -

When open, Whiskey Ranch allowed F&R to cater to its rapidly growing consumer demand by increasing production of its award-winning TX Whiskey and TX Straight Bourbon, all while maintaining the same quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, according to F&R.

Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €8,987 million in FY18. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has grown through organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed via six Brand Companies through 86 direct affiliates across five continents.