French drinks group Pernod Ricard has moved into vermouth with the acquisition of a majority stake in St Petroni owner Vermutería de Galicia for an undisclosed sum.Created in 2014, St Petroni vermouth takes inspiration from nature and is made with Albariño grapes and 29 herbs and botanicals. The vermouth was created in the Spanish town of Padrón, in the northern region of Galicia. Pernod Ricard’s Ruavieja herbal liqueur brand is also produced in Padrón. The acquisition was made through the company’s Spanish arm, Pernod Ricard España, and is in line with the firm’s Transform & Accelerate strategic plan. The deal is also said to demonstrate the company’s “clear commitment to its continued growth within the highly strategic apéritif segment”. Guillaume Girard-Reydet, CEO of Pernod Ricard España, said: “With St Petroni, we are starting a new and exciting journey by adding to Pernod Ricard España’s portfolio its first vermouth, entering into a category that will help us to strengthen our presence in the apéritif segment. “Partnering with unique local brands is part of our culture and tradition. Our entire teams and organisations are committed to work hand in hand to further grow the brand, as we have done in the past with Ruavieja.” The St Petroni range include three varieties: Vermu Rojo, Vermu Blanco and Bitter. Each expression is made using a centuries-old traditional maceration method. Cristina Codesido, founder and managing director of Vermutería de Galicia, said: “I firmly believe that this alliance will enable us to reach new heights, not only in promoting the essence of St Petroni, but also in promoting Galicia’s rich land and culture, by leveraging Pernod Ricard España’s strong distribution network. “Pernod Ricard is the ideal partner with whom to continue our expansion, due to its great respect for the roots and unique values of our brand, which will continue to inspire everything we do as we open this new chapter.” Pernod Ricard invested in super-premium mezcal Ojo de Tigre in July this year, and told The Spirits Business it will “invest heavily” in its recently acquired super-premium-and-above gins going forward. Earlier this month, the French group reported a 9.5% organic sales drop in its 2020 full-year after the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted its travel retail and on-trade sales.