Global spirits company Campari on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to purchase a 15% stake in the banana-flavored Howler Head Kentucky bourbon whiskey brand, which is owned by Catalyst Spirits.
Campari has agreed to pay $15 million in cash for a 15% interest in the brand. The group will have the option to buy 100% of the brand – subject to future results – beginning 2025.
According to FoodBev, the deal gives Campari “a route to total ownership and exclusive distribution rights” of the brand.
Howler Head is best known for its connection to UFC President Dana White, who is a partner of the brand — but does not own it, despite popular belief. Howler Head is the official flavored whiskey partner of the UFC.
“With bourbon whiskey serving as one of our global priority brand pillars, Howler Head is an ideal fit for our portfolio,” Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Campari Group, said, according to FoodBev. “In addition to being an exceptionally high-quality liquid, Howler Head has established a clearly unique brand personality and, through its deep relationship with UFC, has a huge on-tap worldwide fanbase ready to enjoy this fantastic bourbon.”
Howler Head is available in the U.S., Canada and recently expanded to the United Kingdom. The whiskey is aged for two years in oak barrels before being blended with natural banana flavor.
“Campari Group has a proven track record for building global brands that consumers truly love and we can think of no better partner as we expand distribution of Howler Head around the world, as well as tap into the vast potential that remains in our existing markets of the US, Canada and the UK,” said Simon Hunt, CEO of Catalyst Spirits.
“In our second full year in market, we are witnessing incredible demand for this product and see endless opportunity for growth as we maximise Campari’s established route-to-market expertise, including its vast sales organisation and distributor relationships, both in the US and internationally.”
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