Pernod Ricard to acquire leading online spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange

The Whisky Exchange is one of the UK’s biggest drinks retailers, with a catalogue of over 10,000 products
Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh
Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh
It has been announced today that co-founders Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh have agreed to sell Speciality Drinks Ltd, parent company of drinks retailer The Whisky Exchange, to drinks giant Pernod Ricard. The sale will include; The Whisky Exchange's bricks-and-mortar shops and its events, including The Whisky Show; trade supplier Speciality Drinks; auction site Whisky.Auction and also ABV Global, the company behind London Cocktail Week.

The sale will not include Elixir Distillers or the forthcoming distillery on Islay, which has recently become a separate entity, Elixir Distillers Ltd, nor does it include Speciality Brands, which has always been a separate company.

According to Pernod Ricard, one of the world's largest drinks companies that boasted consolidated sales of €8,824 million in FY21, this acquisition is in line with its "consumer-centric strategy, in a context of solid e-commerce growth and strong demand for premiumisation."

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, added: “We are thrilled to work with Industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development."

Since its creation by the Singh brothers in 1999, The Whisky Exchange has become a leading global online and physical retailer of spirits with three London shops and an active private sales and online auction presence.

Founders Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh said: “Since we started The Whisky Exchange, 22 years ago, we have enjoyed great success in delivering fine whisky and spirits to people around the world, not just via our retail business but also through the subsequent businesses that have emerged.

The last few years in particular have brought about a period of rapid growth that has highlighted the need for us to bolster our experience, resource and infrastructure to deliver the next stage of business development, and we’re excited to have agreed this deal with Pernod Ricard to help achieve this.

Myself and my brother Rajbir are looking forward to remaining at the helm of the business and helping drive future growth for the global drinks industry.”

The Whisky Exchange will continue to operate with its current team and structure, with Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh managing the business as joint Managing Directors for the foreseeable future. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions but sources say it will conclude in the coming month.