BDT Capital Partners has made a majority equity investment in Casa Dragones, an ultra-premium and luxury maker of tequila.
Casa Dragones is a small-batch, independent producer of sipping tequilas noted for their Joven (blended) and Blanco (unaged) sipping tequilas. There are five industry categories for tequila: Blanco tequila is bottled right after production; Reposado tequila has to be stored for at least 2 months; Añejo tequila has to be stored for at least a year; Extra Añejo tequila has to be stored for at least 2 years; and Joven (blended) tequila is Blanco mixed with Reposado or Añejo. Casa Dragones was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Manhasset, NY (www.casadragones.com).
The investment by BDT Capital Partners – the firm’s first in the spirits category – will be used to help Casa Dragones continue its growth and build its position in the ultra-premium and luxury tequila category worldwide.
Casa Dragones, under the leadership of Co-founder and CEO Bertha González Nieves, helped spearhead the ultra-premium “sipping tequila” trend in the US, and now has become a category leader with a significant presence in key markets. Ms. González Nieves will continue as CEO under BDT ownership and she is the second largest shareholder in the company. Her career is based in the consumer luxury goods market. In 2013, Forbes identified her as one of the 50 most powerful women in Mexico. Prior to co-founding Casa Dragones, she spent over ten years as a top executive for Grupo Jose Cuervo, the largest tequila company in the world.
“Our mission is to shape the tequila industry for the future and we believe this investment from BDT, and their role as our lead investor, will help us accelerate our momentum, growth and reach,” said Ms. González Nieves. “We welcome this investment from BDT because they share our values and long-term commitment to building on the strong foundation of Casa Dragones. BDT will help us accelerate growth and reach more markets across the US and internationally. Their experience partnering with founders and entrepreneurs, as well as their network of successful global business owners, will be valuable to our company’s next phase of growth.”
“We are impressed with Bertha’s entrepreneurial spirit and the quality of the Casa Dragones product and brand. We believe our investment in the company represents an opportunity to partner with a visionary founder in an attractive industry and category,” said Byron Trott, Chairman and CEO of BDT Capital Partners. “We look forward to working closely with the team at Casa Dragones to build upon that strength and momentum of the business and help expand their reach both domestically and internationally.”
Robert Pittman – current CEO of iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), the creator of MTV, and Managing Partner of Pilot Group (a NY-Based investment firm) – who co-founded Casa Dragones with Ms. González Nieves, will continue to be a minority shareholder and remain as an advisor and board member. “Casa Dragones has emerged as the leading tequila for connoisseurs and has pioneered the sipping tequila category,” said Mr. Pittman. This has been both a great investment for Pilot Group and a personal passion of mine, and I’m pleased that BDT is stepping in to help the company reach its full potential. I am excited to continue my role as both an investor and board member.”
BDT Capital Partners was founded in 2009 by former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman Byron Trott. The firm manages more than $9 billion across its committed funds and $3.7 billion of co-investments from its limited partners. The firm is a bit secretive and does not have a web presence but does maintain offices in Chicago, New York, London, and Frankfurt.
© 2018 Private Equity Professional | April 9, 2018