Leading beverage company Lion has moved to 100 percent ownership of Four Pillars, Australia’s number one craft spirit brand. The announcement comes a little over four years since Lion purchased 50 percent of the Yarra Valley-based gin business.
The acquisition includes ownership of the world-class distillery in Healesville and all domestic and international sales and marketing of the brand. Lion New Zealand will distribute Four Pillars in the New Zealand market from the 4th of September.
Four Pillars Co-Founders, Chief Distiller Cameron Mackenzie and Brand and Strategy Director Matt Jones will remain in the business in their current capacities. Co-Founder and Trade Director Stuart Gregor will remain in the short-term before taking an extended sabbatical.
Lion CEO Sam Fischer has welcomed the announcement.
“It’s not every day you get to buy the world’s best gin distillery, but Lion is absolutely thrilled to add Four Pillars to our portfolio. Twice winners of the International Gin Distillery of the year, on the shortlist again this year, and Australia’s benchmark craft spirit – it is a great day for our business,” said Fischer.
“We look forward to supporting the continued growth of this remarkable brand, working with Cam and Matt to help drive our future plans. Alongside continued investment behind our core business, we see premium spirits as a real opportunity for future growth.”
Four Pillars joins the Lion-owned Vanguard Luxury Spirits business and will operate as a stand-alone spirits division within Lion Australia called Four Corners Global Spirits.
Lion NZ Managing Director Craig Baldie said that premium gin has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and Four Pillars is at the forefront of that trend.
“We are thrilled to be adding Four Pillars to our portfolio and look forward to working together to expand the presence of Australia’s number one craft spirit brand across New Zealand so more Kiwis can experience this award-winning gin,” said Baldie.
Chief Distiller Cameron Mackenzie added that Lion had been an integral part of Four Pillars' growth across Australia and New Zealand.
“It has helped us plug into some great opportunities internationally and in Global Travel Retail through the wider Lion network,” said Mackenzie.
Four Pillars range of gins has won over 100 gold medals and dozens of trophies at the world’s most prestigious spirits competitions. Four Pillars makes a range of gins headlined by the original Rare Dry Gin, alongside Fresh Yuzu Gin, Olive Leaf Gin, Spiced Negroni Gin, the cult favourite Bloody Shiraz Gin and the world’s most-awarded Navy Strength Gin. Four Pillars’ home remains in Healesville in the Yarra Valley, and it operates a world-class Laboratory and Eileen’s cocktail bar in Sydney. Four Pillars also produces a range of Australia’s number-one-selling Ready-to-Drink gin and mixer cans and two Alcohol-free variants.
Four Pillars is available in more than 25 markets globally.