Conor McGregor, along with co-founders Audie Attar and Ken Austin, has sold the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Proper 12, to Proximo Spirits in a $600 million deal. Proximo spirits previously owned a 49% stake in the business. According to Ken Austin, the sum will include the $250 million in profit earned in the two years since the launch of the brand. News of the deal was first published by Shanken News Daily and later confirmed by Marc Raimondi of ESPN.
The extent of Proximo's stake and the length of the deal are unknown at the moment, but all three co-founders will retain an active role in the business.
Speaking to Shanken News Daily, Proximo Spirits CEO Mike Keyes acknowledged Conor McGregor's stardom as a key factor in the brand's success. He revealed that McGregor is keen to make Proper 12 a brand that could sell millions of cases every year.
“It’s hard to predict how long it’s going to take, but I’m looking at a million cases and saying that’s a starting point for this brand. Conor is very, very fixated on this being a multi-million case brand. I wouldn’t count him out ever,” Mike Keyes said.
Proper 12 Irish Whiskey is UFC star Conor McGregor's first business venture outside MMA. Announced as 'Notorious Irish Whiskey' during the post-fight press conference for the Floyd Mayweather bout in July 2017, the brand was eventually launched with the name 'Proper 12' a year later.
Since its launch, Proper 12 has taken the Irish whiskey business by storm. It was reported that Proper 12 helped push whiskey sales to $1 billion in the United States in 2019.
Proximo Spirits is planning 'a big splash' around the UFC 264 event headlined by Conor McGregor
According to co-founder Ken Austin, Conor McGregor and the team will increase their focus on brand building while Proximo will take a larger role on the administrative and financial side of the Proper 12 whiskey business. However, there will not be a substantial change in brand identity and its marketing.
While speaking to Shanken News Daily, Proximo Spirits CEO Mike Keyes stated that Proper 12 will be showcased at the upcoming UFC 264 event headlined by the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
“We are very excited about Conor’s upcoming July 10 fight in Las Vegas, and obviously we are planning a big splash around that event,” Mike Keyes said.
Scheduled to take place on July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the event is expected to be one of the biggest combat sports events of th 2021.