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Conor McGregor’s future with Proper No. 12 whiskey uncertain after investors take controlling interest in company

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Conor McGregor helped create Proper No. 12, but he soon may lose a controlling interest in the company.

The former two-division UFC champion started Proper No. 12 Irish Whiskey alongside his manager Audie Attar and investor Ken Austin through a company called Eire Born Spirits (EBS). Becle, a spirits company that also owned Jose Cuervo Tequila, bought an initial ownership stake in EBS and then increased its holding to 49 percent of the company this past May.

Now Becle has announced plans to increase its stake in EBS to 51 percent, which means they will now take over controlling interest in the brand.

“On February 23, 2021, the Company provided notice of the exercise of its call option to acquire 51% of the equity interests of EBS,” Becle announced in a financial disclosure first reported by Whisky Cast.

Becle then confirmed to Whiskey Cast that the company did plan to exercise the option to take a full ownership stake in EBS but declined comment when asked about McGregor’s future with the company while adding “we expect to announce further details upon the closing of the transaction.”

Now Becle taking a controlling interest in EBS and Proper No. 12 doesn’t mean McGregor will automatically be ousted from his own company, but he would no longer have full control over the brand.

The UFC superstar could obviously remain a vital part of marketing and promotion for Proper No. 12, which has seen increased sales in the Irish whiskey market year over year since first launching.

There’s also a chance that Becle eventually decides to take a full ownership stake in the brand, which means the conglomerate could try to buy out EBS entirely and that could mean a huge windfall of cash for McGregor and his investment partners.

Celebrity liquor brands have become a huge moneymaker in recent years, especially after actor George Clooney sold his stake in Casamigos tequila for a whopping $700 million. “Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds became a co-owner of Aviation Gin in 2018 with the same company that bought out Clooney’s tequila then taking a controlling interest for $610 million.

Reynolds remained an owner in the company even after the sale and the same could be said for McGregor now that Becle is poised to take over EBS and Proper No. 12.

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