BALTIMORE, Sept. 14, 2023
Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A., an Italian Multinational Company with a strong strategic diversification of business and products, today announced a majority stake purchase of shares of Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey brand and distillery. The deal supports the long-term growth of both companies and strengthens Illva Saronno Holding’s presence in the United States, which started with Disaronno International LLC in 2014. Illva Saronno Holding is most recognizably known for Disaronno, the world’s favorite Italian liqueur. The acquisition also creates the opportunity for Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A. to expand their whiskey portfolio beyond The Busker Irish Whiskey into American rye whiskey.

Sagamore Spirit is a brand within Sagamore Ventures, the privately-held investment company that serves as the family office of Under Armour Executive Chairman and Brand Chief Kevin Plank.

Founded by Plank in 2013 with Bill McDermond as minority owner, Sagamore Spirit’s American rye whiskies have earned more than 200 awards internationally, including World’s Best Rye Whiskey in 2019 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Purpose-forged with a mission to craft the world’s best rye whiskey, Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit prides itself on in-state partnerships, including local grain and water sourcing, state-of-the-art distilling, and aging – all in Maryland.

“We are thrilled to announce this transaction, which supports our portfolio strategy to acquire high growth, attractive margin brands, and in this case, broaden our offering into the premium American whiskey segment,” said Aldino Marzorati, CEO of Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A. “We have built a strong presence with Disaronno International LLC in the US market, and this opportunity allows us to strengthen our portfolio with a company and products that we fully believe in.”

“Growing Sagamore Spirit has been an incredibly rewarding experience with a team that has obsessed every detail across this holistically Maryland grain-to-glass whiskey business,” said Kevin Plank. “I want to thank Illva Saronno Holding for their team’s passion in understanding the specialness of our unique product and look forward to the outstanding horsepower they can add into its next chapter.”

Plank continued, “I’m also very excited that Illva Saronno Holding loves our Baltimore Peninsula location so much that they’ve decided to relocate their North American headquarters to Maryland. As a beacon of entrepreneurial power and potential, Baltimore Peninsula represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be a foundational partner in creating a brighter future for one of America’s best cities.”

“As we look to expand Sagamore Spirit to new markets, we believe that relocating our North American headquarters will allow us to maintain the strong Maryland-based connection and invest in the local community that has empowered this brand to thrive,” added Robert Cullins, Executive Vice President of Disaronno International LLC.

J.P. Morgan is serving as financial advisor and Reed Smith LLP is serving as legal counsel to Sagamore Spirit. Paul Hastings together with Bonelli Erede / BELEX (Milan) are serving as legal counsel and KPMG for financial due diligence services to Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A.

About Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A.:
Illva Saronno Holding, an Italian-based multinational with a diverse business portfolio, is a global leader in the world of spirits and is present in over 160 countries. It is primarily known for Disaronno, “the world’s favorite Italian liqueur”, as well as for other great prestige products such as Tia Maria, Rabarbaro Zucca, Rump@blic, Artic Vodka, Isolabella Sambuca, and The Busker Irish Whiskey, produced at Royal Oak Distillery in Ireland. Illva Saronno Holding produces and sells fine quality wines as Duca di Salaparuta, Corvo and Florio. The Group also found space with Disaronno Ingredients, a company with a presence in Italy and around the world, in the sector of semi-finished products for Gelato and Pastries, baked goods and complementary products for Gelato stores. For more information, please visit

About Sagamore Ventures:
Sagamore Ventures is a privately held investment company with diversified holdings that include commercial real estate, hospitality, food and beverage, and venture capital. The company is based in Baltimore, MD, and serves as the family office of Kevin A. Plank, the founder, Executive Chairman, and Brand Chief of Under Armour, Inc. Key investment holdings include Sagamore Spirit and a significant equity stake in the Baltimore Peninsula redevelopment in South Baltimore. The mission of Sagamore Ventures is to support the growth of our investments and contribute to economic development and opportunity in Baltimore City. Sagamore Spirit products are proofed with pure, limestone-filtered water from the naturally flowing spring house at Sagamore Farm, built in 1909. The brand’s core offerings: Signature Rye Whiskey, Cask Strength Rye Whiskey, and Double Oak Rye Whiskey, are distributed globally. Sagamore Spirit launched its first Maryland Distilled Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Whiskey in November 2021 as well craft premium canned cocktails made with Sagamore Spirit straight rye whiskey in 2022.

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