Bardstown Bourbon Company Sells to Pritzker Private Capital
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Chicago Firm Acquires 1 of Kentucky’s Largest Distillers

Bardstown Bourbon

Barrels of bourbon are seen at the Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, Kentucky on April 11, 2019. Bardstown Bourbon Company has been acquired by Pritzker Private Capital. (Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chicago investment firm Pritzker Private Capital announced Monday that it has acquired iconic Kentucky distiller, producer and bottler Bardstown Bourbon Company.

Pritzker Private Capital is investing in Bardstown Bourbon alongside members of the Bardstown Bourbon management team and current investors; President and CEO Mark Erwin and the rest of and Bardstown Bourbon’s current management will continue to lead the business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Bardstown Bourbon is redefining the bourbon industry,” Erwin said. “Our devotion to quality, custom distillation and innovations in blending, combined with a unique, modern Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience, have built a leading position in this high-growth category. We are thrilled to partner with Pritzker Private Capital to grow this company’s distilling, bottling and brand capacity to its greatest potential. The PPC team shares our commitment to a culture focused on innovation and teamwork. Together we will build on the legacy of our founder Peter Loftin and take this great company to the next level.”

When whispers started to spread of a looming Bardstown Bourbon Co. acquisition, most expected a major beverage company (a Diageo, Beam Suntory or Pernod Ricard, for example) to be the buyer, which would have had major ramifications. The facts that the acquisition has instead been completed by an investment firm and that Bardstown is retaining its current management team and investors, indicates instead that Bardstown Bourbon Co. will be staying the course and not making drastic changes. The acquisition is likely just a way to pump more money into the company, meaning we may not see much in the way of change from Bardstown outside of aggressive expansion.

“Bardstown Bourbon has quickly established itself as a distilling leader for premium bourbon brands,” said Chris Trick, investment partner at PPC. “This partnership is an excellent fit with our experience and focus on investing in innovative food and beverage producers that combine state-of-the-art production capabilities and strong partnerships with leading brands. With its innovative co-manufacturing strategy and experiential approach at its Bourbon Trail location, Bardstown Bourbon is poised for growth and expansion in the attractive premium spirits category. We are pleased to partner with Bardstown Bourbon’s talented leadership team to support the company’s exciting next chapter.”

Pritzker Private Capital was founded by family investor Tony Pritzker in 2018.

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