Barrels of cash: Conor sells whiskey for $600M


Stephen A. has an important message for Conor McGregor (1:58)

Stephen A. Smith says Conor McGregor needs to step up his game vs. Dustin Poirier. (1:58)

Apr 27, 2021

  • Marc RaimondiESPN Staff Writer

Conor McGregor is no longer the majority owner of the whiskey brand he founded, but the UFC star has added to his growing fortune.

Proximo Spirits, a company that owns Jose Cuervo and other alcohol brands, has acquired a majority stake in Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey in a deal worth up to $600 million, both sides told spirits trade publication Shanken News Daily on Tuesday.

Proximo previously held a 49% stake in the company. The $600 million will go to brand co-founders McGregor, his agent Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports Management and their partner Ken Austin, who told the publication that the sum includes the $250 million the team already earned in the brand’s first two years in business with Proximo.

Proper No. Twelve was founded in 2018 and has been promoted vigorously by McGregor, the most popular star in UFC history. Proximo’s new stake in the brand was not disclosed, nor was the length of the agreement.

Mike Keyes, Proximo’s CEO, told Shanken News Daily that McGregor, Attar and Austin will retain an interest in the brand and maintain active roles.

“Proper Twelve is my baby for life!” McGregor said in a statement to his website, The Mac Life. “I’m only warming up the barrels here! What I have in store for you all will not only take Proper Twelve to the absolute pinnacle of Irish whiskey, but of all spirits!”

Keyes and Austin told Shanken News Daily that the new deal won’t affect how Proper No. Twelve is marketed or its brand identity, with McGregor still leading the way. Another big push is expected for the Irish whiskey around McGregor’s trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10 in Las Vegas.

Austin said McGregor wants Proper No. Twelve to be a “multimillion case brand,” and he believes it will get there.

“Since introducing this brand with Conor and his partners just two and a half years ago, Proper No. Twelve has been the most exciting brand in the Irish whiskey category,” Keyes said. “The brand continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, and this agreement reflects Proximo’s commitment to expanding its presence in the whiskey category as a whole.”