UFC star Conor McGregor 'set for split of £112m cash windfall' after tequila company announces Proper No12 takeover
8th March 2021

CONOR MCGREGOR is reportedly set for a huge £112million payday after the takeover of his Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand.

Notorious, 32, suffered a shock defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in his comeback fight in the cage in January.

Now he could be set for another blow after Mexican tequila company Becle, who own Jose Cuervo Tequila, announced a takeover of the brand the superstar helped create.

However, the Irish Mirror claims that setback is being softened by a huge payout to the star.

Becle are set to assume control of Proper Twelve, having bought a 20 per cent share of the brand initially before upping their stake to 49 per cent last year.

Now McGregor and his manager Audie Attar, under parent company Eire Born Spirits, are set to split £112m after Becle announced its intention to acquire the remaining 51 per cent of the company, giving them total control.

The Proper No. Twelve drink, which was named after McGregor's hometown Crumlin situated in Dublin 12, was launched in 2018 and was soon flying off the shelves.

It proved to be so popular in Tesco Ireland stores that customers were only allowed to buy two bottles at a time.

And last month it was confirmed that the whiskey will hit supermarket shelves in the UK for the first time.

Morrisons have agreed an exclusive deal with the UFC legend to become the first supermarket to sell the spirit.

Launching on offer at £22 a bottle, whiskey fans will be able to toast good business and get a taste of combat sport’s most-famous tipple.

However we reported last month that ‘a little-noticed line in the annual financial statement for Mexican drinks conglomerate Becle could mean the impending end’ of McGregor’s relationship with Proper No. Twelve.

EBS (Eire Born Spirits) is the name of the company McGregor founded along with Attar and spirits industry entrepreneur Ken Austin to bring their whiskey out on the market three years ago.

Becle is the holding company for the Beckmann family’s extensive spirits portfolio and their influence has grown over the past few years due to the acquisitions of the Old Bushmills Distillery in Ireland and the Bushmills Irish Whiskey brand, in addition to Three Olives Vodka and Kraken Rum.

Becle held a 20 per cent stake in EBS at the time and ‘used its resources and personnel at Bushmills to produce the whiskey’. 

And Proximo Spirits, Becle’s US subsidiary, holds the American distribution rights for Proper No. Twelve.

Wine & Spirits Daily claimed in 2020 that Becle exercised an option to increase its ownership stake to 49 per cent in a bumper deal that valued the company around £169m.

But a Becle news release recently announced: “On February 23, 2021, the Company provided notice of the exercise of its call option to acquire 51 per cent of the equity interests of EBS.”

A Becle spokesman confirmed to WhiskyCast that the option covers the remaining equity in EBS with the deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Proximo Spirits CEO Mike Keyes referred to Proper No. Twelve as the ‘fastest growing brand in the Irish whiskey category’ in the Becle conference call last week.

When Becle were asked whether McGregor will have an ongoing role with Proper No. Twelve after the deal closes now he will no longer have a controlling ownership ownership stake, they declined to comment.

A statement only confirmed: “We expect to announce further details upon the closing of the transaction.”

Now it appears McGregor, who was last week filmed buying a bottle in a Dublin shop without a face mask, will no longer have any official part of the Proper No. Twelve business.

At least the payout will help Notorious, who is worth nearly £87m, on his quest towards becoming the No1 highest-paid athlete on Forbes' rich list.

Prior to his defeat to poirier, he said: “I’m already a very wealthy man and it is only going to go up, make no mistake about it.

“This year I have aspirations of being the number one highest-paid athlete on the Forbes list.

“I believe I will do it and times are good and the whiskey is better.

“It is a phenomenal liquid and it is only a four year age, it’s our first launch so wait until we get to eight-year, wait until we get to 12 years, wait until we get to 21 year.

“I actually have barrels of the stuff boxed off for my son and it is signed to my son that I am going to gift to him on his 21st birthday so he’s going to walk into a 21 year aged Proper 12 empire.

“I’m very excited to gift him that and I’m even more excited to taste it myself.”

In May 2020 it was announced McGregor was No16 on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list – despite only fighting once.

It is claimed he earned £35m last year alone, but Tyson Fury was the highest earning fighter of 2020, banking £40m.

Tennis legend Roger Federer is McGregor's man to beat, as the Swiss icon topped Forbes' athlete list with £78m.

 

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