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Stock Spirits acquires 25% stake in Quintessential Brands Irish whiskey division

Published:  18 July, 2017

London-listed Stock Spirits Group has signed a deal to buy a 25% stake in the Irish whiskey division of Quintessential Brands Group for up to €18.3m (£16m) in cash.

The investment from Stock Spirits in the premium branded spirits and liqueurs producer, principally sold in Central and Eastern Europe, would primarily be used to complete the construction of the Dublin Liberties Distillery – a state-of-the-art distillery currently being build in the centre of Dublin, which will also include a visitor and “brand experience” centre.

In addition, the cash injection would be used to accelerate advertising and promotional investment in the Quintessential Brands Irish Whiskey (QBIW) brands, including The Dublin Liberties and The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, to finance working capital and stock maturation, said Quintessential Brands Group co-founder, Warren Scott.

“This investment and partnership with Stock Spirits comes at the beginning of a very exciting next phase of the development for our Irish whiskies - we are a brand-led business and both The Dublin Liberties and The Dubliner Irish Whiskey have developed great traction in more than 30 markets with significant potential for further growth and range expansion in the coming years.”

QBIW claimed its portfolio, which ranges from ‘ultra’ premium to standard Irish whiskey products, was currently sold in more than 30 countries, with in excess of 32,000 9L cases sold in the 12 months to 31 March 2017.

Stock Spirits chief executive, Mirek Stachowicz, said the investment was in line with the company’s stated strategy of expanding its portfolio through strategic investments and “bolt-on” acquisitions in order to enhance shareholder value.

“Whiskey is the second largest spirits category globally behind vodka and, within the whiskey category, Irish whiskey has been the fastest- growing segment since 2007. It is also the fastest growing category in Stock Spirits’ key markets of Poland and Czech Republic, and this Investment will allow the Company to capitalise on this trend.”

Prior to the Investment, QBIW was a 100% owned subsidiary of Quintessential Brands, an independent spirits business which owns, manages, markets and distributes a portfolio of spirits brands internationally from manufacturing operations in the UK, Ireland and France.

Post the Investment, the company will continue to provide blending and bottling services, as well as sales and marketing support, with Stock Spirits entitled to nominate two of the five directors on the board of QBIW.