ZX Ventures acquires UK spirits distributor

Portfolio includes online whisky shop Master of Malt

While acquisition of European beer assets may have slowed down, AB InBev’s disruption division ZX Ventures is still making purchases. The latest is Atom Brands, a group of companies involved in spirits sales and distribution. In particular, Atom specialises in the “craft” end of the spirits market, and its labels include The Handmade Cocktail Company and That Boutique-y Gin Company. It also owns the online whisky shop Master of Malt which carries a large range of beers as well as spirits.

In a statement, Atom said “the resources, distribution channels and opportunities that are opened up by this deal are simply epic in scale”, the latest indication that such takeovers are not simply a question of cash for the companies involved, but about access to an increasingly consolidated market. This is the first move into spirits by ZX Ventures, and comes on the same day that Carlsberg UK announced the creation of its own upmarket spirits portfolio Distilled. Clearly, for companies like AB InBev and Carlsberg, beer is simply not a large enough market to realise their ambitions.