Two Sikh brothers who helped run their parents’ off licence in Hanwell, west London, have sold their online whisky business to Pernod Ricard.
Sukhinder Singh, 53, and his brother Rajbir, 49, whose parents emigrated to Britain from India, founded The Whisky Exchange in 1999 — creating what was one of the first online whisky specialist retailers, with a turnover last year of £72 million.
Now, the brothers have cemented a fortune – estimated at hundreds of millions of pounds after selling their online business to French beverage company, Pernod Ricard.
The Whisky Exchange, founded in 1999, is one of the UK’s largest online spirits retailers specialising in whiskies, liquors and fine spirits; with a catalog of nearly 10,000 products that include: 4,000 whiskies including 3,000 single malt Scotch whiskies; 400 Champagnes, 800 Cognacs and Armagnacs; 700 rums; 600 gins; 300 aperitifs; 400 Tequilas and mezcal; three shops, according to the The Whiskey Wash.
The Whisky Exchange expanded its activities to on-trade supply and physical stores in the UK, with several shops in London. It’s also active in private sales and online auctions of rare spirits, two fast-expanding areas where The Whisky Exchange will team up with Pernod Ricard.
Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh, founders of The Whisky Exchange, said in a prepared statement, “After more than 20 years building The Whisky Exchange, we are delighted to be joining the Pernod Ricard family and working with them to take the business to the next level. The Whisky Exchange and our customers have always felt like a family, and we are looking forward to maintaining this ethos with a partner that shares our values.
“Our mission remains the same … to offer the finest range of whiskies and spirits from the best producers around the world, educate and engage with consumers, and support the top on-trade establishments around the UK,” they added.
Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, stated: “E-commerce is a key channel in our long term strategy. We are thrilled to work with Industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development.”
The Whisky Exchange will continue to operate with its current team and structure, with thr brothers managing the business as joint Managing Directors.
The closing of the transaction is subject to “customary conditions”.