The Edrington Group Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
company was founded in 1850 in Glasgow by William Robertson. In 1860/1 the
business expanded with a merger to become Robertson & Baxter. They took a
shareholding in the North British Distillery Company in 1885, which today is a
joint venture owned by The Edrington Group and Diageo. These two companies
entered into another joint venture in 1993, Lothian Distillers, which also
continues today. In 1887 Robertson formed another business, Highland Distillers
Ltd. which is a joint venture with William Grant & Sons and is also part of
The Edrington Group.
William Robertson passed on the business to his son, who in turn passed it onto his daughters Elspeth, Agnes and Ethel. In 1961 the sisters formed of The Robertson Trust as a way to prevent take-overs whilst providing an avenue for their philanthropic actions. This trust owns The Edrington Group (Edrington being named after a farm near the family home) and is responsible for supporting numerous charitable endeavors, providing donations of $10’s of millions each year.
Across the years the Robertson businesses have grown by building new production and warehousing facilities, acquiring existing companies (in whole and in part with shareholdings) and creating marketing and distribution companies and alliances across the globe. Their brands of particular note include: The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Cutty Sark and Highland Park Whiskies plus Brugal Rum and Snow Leopard Vodka.