Lee Spirits, which operates a distillery in Monument and tasting rooms in Monument and downtown Colorado Springs, has been acquired by Sonder Libations, a Monument-based holding company that plans to acquire other alcoholic beverage makers.
The deal will allow Lee Spirits to expand its distribution of its gin, vodka, liqueurs and canned cocktails from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma to more Midwestern and Southwestern states next year and nationwide and globally by the end of 2023, co-founder Ian Lee said. Sonder also will use Lee’s Monument distillery to make other brands it plans to acquire, he said.
“We have been fielding offers for the past two years and the offer from Sonder was the right one at the right time,” said Lee, a Colorado Springs technology entrepreneur who founded the company as a craft gin distillery in 2013 with his cousin, Nick Lee. “This gives us the resources to expand nationally and globally and will use the resources at Lee Spirits to cultivate, support and influence other brands.”
Sonder is headed by Kevin Selvey, who started Crazy Mountain Brewery in 2010 in Edwards and expanded to Denver in 2015; it sells its beer in 22 states and nine other countries.
Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed, butIan and Nick Lee will join the Sonder board as strategic advisers and all 11 Lee Spirits employees will be retained, Ian Lee said.
“The popularity of Lee Spirits clearly means its one-of-a-kind products are ready for increased distribution across the entire United States,” Selvey said in a news release. “Our sales and manufacturing infrastructure are primed to make Lee Spirits RTD (ready-to-drink) cocktails and flavored gins into category captains with an unprecedented number of new distributors, consumers, liquor stores, bars and restaurants very rapidly.”
Sonder is negotiating to acquire two additional spirit brands this fall that will be distributed nationally and internationally, Selvey said.