MGP Acquires Luxco in First Major Merger of 2021

MGP Ingredients in Lawrenceburg Indiana.
MGP Ingredients in Lawrenceburg Indiana.

Distiller MGP Ingredients, Inc., also known as MGP, has acquired Kentucky-based Luxco as part of a major growth initiative for 2021 and a shift into higher “value-added” products.

The announcement made this morning combines two major players in the American whiskey world. It’s a brilliant strategic move for MGP, which is one of the largest distillers in the country, but thus far lacks a diverse portfolio of house brands. Luxco brings several well-respected labels to the table, as well as a physical connection to the world of Kentucky bourbon through their Bardstown, KY operations.

Indiana-based MGP is the best-known house when it comes to sourced whiskeys, and they’ve also made careful moves in recent years to create house brands including Rossville Union, and the George Remus and Remus Repeal lines, several of which have announced new products already for this year.

Luxco’s portfolio brings a lot of well-known names into the MGP fold, including Ezra Brooks Bourbon Whiskey, Daviess County Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Yellowstone Bourbon Whiskey, El Mayor Tequila and Everclear.

“Luxco presents a unique opportunity to take a material step towards realizing our long-term strategy. It significantly expands our product line in the higher-value branded-spirits sector and increases our sales and distribution capabilities across all 50 states,” said David Colo, president and CEO of MGP Ingredients, Inc., in a press release today. “We have enormous respect for the platform Luxco has built, and we’re excited to add its portfolio of fast-growing premium distilled spirits brands together with strong, cash-flow generating legacy brands. We welcome Donn and his family into the MGP shareholder base and look forward to growing together.”

In the same release, Donn Lux, chairman and CEO of Luxco said, “There is a clear strategic fit between Luxco and MGP and I believe this transaction represents a great outcome for Luxco employees and customers. I’m excited to continue my involvement with this blend of two well-positioned companies whose strong records of performance and commitment to excellence provide an attractive platform for continued growth.”

It’s unclear what this means for the respective portfolios of the two brands, but at the moment no major changes or discontinuations have been announced. The deal represents nearly half a billion dollars in total value. Luxco generated approximate net revenues of $202 million and 9-liter case volume of 4.8 million in 2020.

G. Clay Whittaker
Clay is Editor at Large of The Bourbon Review. He has written about whiskey, food, drink, and culture for Esquire, Playboy, Men's Journal, Popular Science, Southern Living, Maxim, among others.