Brown-Forman, the parent company of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Finlandia vodka, has bought two-year-old New Zealand RTD startup, Part Time Rangers.
The Kiwi product was created by brothers Oliver and William Deane in their home kitchen in 2018 and has built a solid following with inventive social-media marketing and nationwide distribution.
The company currently has six RTD products in its line-up: Apple Lemon Gin, Strawberry Raspberry Gin, Lime Vodka, Passionfruit Apple Vodka, Apple Lime Rum and Ginger Lime Whiskey.
Brown-Forman president and CEO Lawson Whiting described the acquisition as “a targeted investment” which would help the company grow in a key New Zealand category before expanding into Australia and beyond. The value of the deal was not disclosed and it remains subject to customary regulatory approvals. The Deanes will stay on with the business.
“Along with our Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and RTDs, we believe we will have greater diversity in the RTD category,” Whiting said.
A core principle of Part Time Rangers is a commitment to supporting wildlife conservation projects, for which it sets aside 10 per cent of its profits. Continuing that commitment is part of the sale agreement with Brown-Forman.
In a statement, the Deane brothers said the decision to sell was not easy, but they were confident that the new owners would be “a strong custodian for the Part Time Rangers brand and community”.
“Our growth since then has exceeded our wildest dreams, and the sale of the business to Brown-Forman will now allow our mission to grow. This process took many months including visiting Brown-Forman in Kentucky to be sure that they understood, valued and supported the mission and direction of Part Time Rangers,” the brothers said.