The Irish Conor McGregor, former UFC double champion and, Proper No. Twelve owner may be exiting the whiskey business. The Mexican corporation Becle, of Jose Cuervo Tequila, currently owns 49% of Eire Born Spirits (EBS), and they may be looking to purchase the other 51%. This move may be putting Conor McGregor’s whiskey futures in doubt.
Conor McGregor’s Whiskey ‘Proper No. Twelve’
The trio of Conor McGregor, Paradigm Sports CEO Audie Attar, and spirits industry entrepreneur Ken Austin worked together in 2018 to bring Proper No. Twelve to market. In this time it has skyrocketed in popularity. So much that Tesco Ireland limited the number of bottles a person could purchase. Mike Keyes, Proximo Spirits (Becle’s USA subsidiary) CEO, said that Proper No. Twelve is the “fastest-growing brand in the Irish whiskey category.” Proper No. Twelve has sponsored major boxing fights, such as a heavyweight championship fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, in addition to many UFC events. Conor McGregor himself has taken a central role in this promotion starring in broadcast commercials, sharing his whiskey during press conferences, and on Instagram.
Becle is a publicly-traded Mexican drinks corporation, best known for its Jose Cuervo tequila. It also owns stakes in 1800 Tequila, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Old Bushmills Distillery Irish Whiskey, Boodles British Gin, in addition to others. Becle is controlled by the billionaire Beckmann family of Mexico.
At its founding in 2018, Becle owned 20% of EBS. In 2020 Becle valued the company at approximately $235 million, and, at that time, exercised an option to increase its ownership stake to 49%.
First reported from Whisky Cast, Becle is likely looking to purchase the remaining 51%. According to a Becle news release: On February 23, 2021, the Company provided notice of the exercise of its call option to acquire 51% of the equity interests of EBS…recognition of the fair value of the Company’s call option to acquire 51% of the equity interests of Eire Born Spirits LLC (EBS)…The Company has a call option to acquire 51% of the equity interests of EBS. This move would buy out EBS from Proper No. Twelve whiskey ownership, putting Conor McGregor’s whiskey future in doubt.
Whisky Cast continues, “Becle spokesman confirmed to WhiskyCast via email that the option covers the remaining equity in EBS, with the deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.”
Becle was asked if Conor McGregor would stay on after the purchase, as a spokesperson or public figure; Becle’s spokesman declined to comment on this, and said more details were to follow “upon the closing of the transaction.”
Conor McGregor in the Public Eye
Not confirmed but Whiskey Cast speculates Becle may be looking to get out of the Conor McGregor business mainly due his public issues in the past few years. These include a sexual assault allegation, a felony hearing in New York after his arrest, being found guilty of assault in a pub, among others. The purchase could be due to McGregor’s perception in the public eye or due to Becle looking to continue its expansion.
It was speculated McGregor may be having a boxing match against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Now it seems more likely the UFC may be aiming to have a third match between McGregor and Poirier this year. Conor McGregor may be a whiskey mogul and UFC double champion but previous to that the Irish fighter was in a plumbing apprenticeship, and only began boxing training as a child to deal with his problems with bullies.
The deal is not yet completed and more news is expected to come soon, reported finalizing second quarter 2021 and possible ending Conor McGregor’s whiskey venture.
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