NEW YORK, N.Y. and SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico — Casa Dragones, a leading ultra-premium and luxury tequila company, announced today that it has partnered with BDT Capital Partners which will be making an equity investment in the company to fund its next stage of growth. Following this transaction, BDT Capital Partners and affiliates will own a majority of the company.
Casa Dragones, under the leadership of Co-founder and CEO Bertha González Nieves, helped spearhead the ultra-premium “sipping tequila” trend in the U.S., and now has become a category leader with a significant presence in key markets. The partnership with BDT, which is the firm’s first investment in the spirits category, will help the company continue its growth and further enhance its position in the ultra-premium and luxury tequila category worldwide. It will also enable Casa Dragones to expand its research and development efforts and help the company further advance its modern, sustainable production process which is a core element of its business.
“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. We welcome this investment from BDT because they share our values and long-term commitment to building on the strong foundation of Casa Dragones,” said Bertha González Nieves, Co-Founder and CEO of Casa Dragones. “BDT will help us accelerate growth and reach more markets across the U.S. 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 D. 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.”
“Casa Dragones has emerged as the leading tequila for connoisseurs and has pioneered the sipping tequila category,” said Robert Pittman, Co-Founder of Casa Dragones and Managing Partner of Pilot Group. “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.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Pilot Group, an investment firm founded by Pittman and Casa Dragones’ original startup investor, will be tendering its shares and certain other investors have tendered all or some of their shares.
Bertha González Nieves, the first woman Maestra Tequilera, will continue to lead Casa Dragones as CEO and become the largest shareholder behind BDT Capital Partners. Robert Pittman, the MTV creator and iHeartMedia CEO who co-founded Casa Dragones with Bertha, will continue to be a minority shareholder and remain as an advisor and board member.
Additional terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
About Tequila Casa Dragones
Casa Dragones Tequila is a small-batch, independent producer acclaimed for their Joven and Blanco sipping tequilas. Since its Mexico and United States debut in 2009, Casa Dragones Joven has earned praise from tequila aficionados, top sommeliers and renowned chefs for its distinctive taste, aroma and body that reflect the care and precision that go into its production. In 2014, the independent, small-batch producer unveiled a second style, Casa Dragones Blanco, a silver tequila in the ultra-premium category of the spirit that maintains the nuanced elegance and subtleties that have become synonymous with the name Casa Dragones.
About BDT Capital Partners
BDT Capital Partners provides family- and founder-led businesses with long-term, differentiated capital. The firm manages more than $9 billion across its investment funds and $3.7 billion of co-investments from its global limited partner investor base. The firm’s affiliate, BDT & Company, is a merchant bank that works with family- and founder-led businesses to pursue their strategic and financial objectives. BDT & Company provides solutions-based advice and access to a world-class network of business owners and leaders.