Italy’s Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A. has taken a majority stake in Baltimore, Maryland’s Sagamore Spirit for an undisclosed sum. In line with the deal, the company is relocating Disaronno International LLC’s headquarters to the Baltimore area. The move expands Saronno’s whiskey holdings—previously the company’s only whiskey was the Busker Irish whiskey—and brings it into the American whiskey category. Sagamore Spirit has been owned by Sagamore Ventures, the privately held investment company that serves as the family office of Under Armour executive chairman and brand chief Kevin Plank.
Aldino Marzorati, CEO of Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A., said the deal “supports our portfolio strategy to acquire high growth, attractive margin brands. We have built a strong presence with Disaronno International LLC in the U.S. market, and this opportunity allows us to strengthen our portfolio with a company and products that we fully believe in.” The company would not disclose volume for Sagamore, which is known for craft rye whiskies. Disaronno’s namesake liqueur had U.S. volume of 382,000 9-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank, up by approximately 50,000 cases since 2019.
Sagamore Spirit’s core offerings include Signature Rye whiskey, Cask Strength Rye whiskey, and Double Oak Rye whiskey. Most recently, Sagamore announced a partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, bringing its rye whiskies into M&T Bank Stadium. That followed the April launch of a canned cocktail and the February launch of an 8-year-old Reserve Rye. Folding Sagamore into the Saronno stable brings the Italian company’s spirits portfolio to five brands: Disaronno, the Busker, Tia Maria liqueur, and Rabarbaro Zucca amaro.