September 1, 2006
Nearly every major spirits group imaginable lined up for the chance to buy Casa Herradura, one of Mexico's oldest and most respected tequila companies. For those not terribly familiar with the spirit, the learning curve was steep. But those who made the trip down to Guadalajara to better understand the business were rewarded with intricate tours of distilleries and an intimate crash-course on the long tradition of roasting the heart of agave plants and stewing the mash into potent firewater.
In the end, Brown-Forman, the owner of another storied New World spirits brand Jack Daniels got the prize. The Louisville, Kentucky-based drinks group agreed in August to pay $876 million
Close to a dozen spirits companies circled over Herradura in the hopes of capturing one of the tequila segment's last great privately owned brands.