Category-changing tequila sold in one of the biggest alcohol deals in history.

Bacardi, the world’s third largest spirits company and the largest privately owned, is buying Patron tequila for USD 5.1 billion.

Patron has long been the market leader in top-shelf tequila – a concept it helped create – and currently sells three million cases around the world, representing 70 per cent market share in the fast-moving “ultra-premium” tequila category. Bacardi had already owned a minority stake in Patron since 2008.

The deal completely shadows Diageo’s recent purchase of George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila for USD 1 billion (producing around 170,000 cases in 2017), but falls short of the USD 8.3 billion that Pernod Ricard paid for Absolut vodka back in 2008.