In March Mexican beverage company Becle, best known for the tequila brand Jose Cuervo, announced that they had fully acquired Eire Born Spirits, a company owned by Conor McGregor, Audie Attar and Ken Austin which produces Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey.
Becle were instrumental in setting up EBS in 2017 exchange for a minority stake in the company. Over time Becle increased their ownership stake to 49% before enacting the option that would allow them to acquire the remaining 51% of the company. When Becle announced this move, financial terms were not released.
Shanken News Daily has now reported that the buyout could be for as much as $600 million. That figure includes the $250 million that Becle has spent over the past two years to increase their stake in EBS.
That outlet also reported that Becle’s subsidiary Proximo Spirits, Becle’s US-based importer and distributor, will be responsible for Proper 12 moving forwards. McGregor, Attar and Smith’s arrangement with Becle/Proximo is reportedly a long-term deal which has those EBS founders retaining an interest in the Proper 12 brand.
Austin and Proximo CEO Mike Keyes told Shanken News Daily that the acquisition would not result in any major changes with how Proper 12 is marketed. Austin added that he and his partners were excited to hand off the administrative and financial aspects of the business to Proximo so they could focus on branding.
McGregor has released a statement regarding the buyout and expressed his excitement to continue working as brand ambassador for Proper 12.
“I founded Proper No. Twelve less than three years ago and today it has become a shining star in the spirits industry,” said McGregor (per MMA Fighting). “This agreement is exciting for my partners and me, and the potential is limitless!
“Our vision is for Proper No. Twelve to continue its incredible growth worldwide and to keep bringing new consumers to the now-reinvigorated Irish whiskey market.”
McGregor have never needed an excuse to be flash with his cash, but perhaps this recent influx explains why the former UFC champion has been active lately — handing out $500,000 to a Louisiana based charity and buying the Dublin pub in which he assaulted a man for not accepting a glass of Proper 12.