Splash Beverage Group to acquire Western Son Distillery
By Basil Gist
Founded in 2011 in Pilot Point, Western Son Distillery has since grown to a two-campus facility which distributes to several states.
On Monday, Splash Beverage Group, an international corporation, released a letter of intent to acquire the business.
“We’ve been looking to align with a partner that brings expertise in growth, expansion and marketing not just with capital but with intellectual capital in the form of experience as well,” COO and CFO of Western Son Distillery Carlos Guillem said. “It gives the ultimate opportunity for not just our employees and company but for the community.”
President and CMO of Splash Beverage Group William Meissner, recently from Frisco before moving to Florida three years ago, took the lead on Splash’s side.
“We are designed to grow through acquisitions,” Meissner said. “Then once we acquire a brand, [we] grow that brand internally. By combining multiple brands, we gain significant sales coverage.”
The company owns several other alcohol brands including Copa di Vino Wine, SALT Tequila and Pulpoloco Sangria, as well as TapouT energy drinks.
“One of the things about Splash is it’s really not known to consumers,” Meissner said. “From a consumer visibility standpoint, everything Western Son is doing today is what we want to push to the forefront. Splash is just the company that gives these brands growth capital.”
This focus on growing what already is, Guillem said, benefits existing Western Son employees as well.
“The number one question I was asked when we made the employee announcement on Monday is, ‘Do I have a job,’” Guillem said. “My answer to employees is, ‘It’s business as normal.’”
“Over all for the employees and the community, … it’s an opportunity for growth and enhancement,” Guillem said. “We invest heavily in our employees with internal vacancies and training courses. All that stuff will continue to expand; they’ll have more resources available to them as we have more volume and more brands.”
Splash, Meissner said, is not only set to acquire a growing brand but to establish a production and distribution headquarters.
“They will establish effectively a production hub for all of Splash,” Meissner said.
“It’s our intention immediately to not only grow the vodka production but to bring our other brands to Pilot Point for distribution.”
He further praised the business’s connection to the local community and municipality, something Pilot Point Municipal Development Director Denise Morris mirrored.
“The MDD and the city will continue to assist in any way we can with future expansion plans,” Morris said. “With mergers and acquisitions, three or four years down the road can mean bigger and better things or it can mean changes. We don’t have a crystal ball, but the way I am understanding, it is a positive thing for Western Son to continue on their trajectory of rapid growth.”
The deal has not yet closed as of Wednesday, and Meissner hesitated to give specific dates, but did say he was optimistic about the process as it comes to a conclusion.
“We have a target, but it’s not public information,” Meissner said. “It would be safe to say though that we absolutely intend to do this before the end of the year. We have had a few acquisitions before, and this one has had very little friction.”