Cooley Distillery, The Dodo and The Last Independent Irish Whiskey Distillery

The most interesting statement in the Press Release from Cooley and Beam Inc this afternoon in relation to the proposed acquisition of Cooley Distillery by Beam is i think this sentence –

 “Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent player, so this transaction is a unique and compelling high-return opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest growth categories,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam. 

Its a classic , a key element in its value and unique high-return opportunity is that Cooley is ‘the only independent player’ a value and asset that disappears immediately it is acquired by a multinational corporation.

No matter how, benevolent a stewardship of the ownership, on purchase by a Beam Inc owners of Jim Beam® Bourbon, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, Knob Creek® Bourbon, EFFEN® Vodka, Pucker™ Flavored Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials, and Skinnygirl® Cocktails, it ceases to be an independent player, it joins Pernod Ricard/IDL and Diageo as a non-independent player.

The purchase is set up in the form of a tender for shares ‘outstanding stock’ the offer is $8.25 a share, giving a total value of around $95 million for the business. 75% of the shareholders have already signed up, identities not revealed.

Only 5% more are needed under the deal to sign up at $8.25 and in this economic climate, cash is king, so I fully expect that the  conditional tender requiring

 “at least 80% of Cooley’s outstanding stock accepting the offer and other customary closing conditions.”

To go through as the parties themselves have indicated, within the next four months.

And that will be that !

     “We see the opportunity to leverage our combination of scale with agility to further build consumer demand         for Cooley’s award-winning brands, and to expand distribution off a relatively small base in key export                 markets for Irish whiskey across North America and Europe.”  

      said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam.

      “Cooley’s brands and distilleries have a heritage that’s unmatched in the world of Irish whiskey, so they will          be a great fit with our portfolio of brands with long and rich histories. We look forward to being good                  stewards of these iconic Irish assets.”