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Halewood's Stewart Hainsworth confirms sale plans

Published:  15 May, 2018

Halewood Wines & Spirits has confirmed it is exploring potential sale options as the business expands internationally.

Stewart Hainsworth, CEO of the Merseyside-based drinks manufacturer and distributor, said this morning that financial advisory group Rothschild has been “appointed to explore strategic options for the shareholders of Halewood Wines & Spirits”.

“This is an exciting time for the business, which our management team have been working towards for three years. We have refocused the business on artisanal spirits and craft beers, which has driven a significant upturn in profit,” he said.

This follows the news at the beginning of May that Halewood had called time on its ten-year relationship with Chinese brewer Tsingtao, as part of a “renewed vision to become an international specialist in artisanal spirits and craft beers”, while revealing a new spirits focus for its agency business.

The new plans hinge on the success of brands like Whitley Neill abroad.

The gin, which is currently the “number one premium gin brand by volume in UK supermarkets” is being replicated internationally, Hainsworth added, and has “recently broken into the US market”.

Halewood’s discussions with Rothschild are a “natural progression of the new strategy I brought to the business”, Hainsworth said.

This follows investment in equipment, acquisitions and marketing support in the UK.

Investment in craft distilleries and breweries include The City of London Distillery, Sadler’s Ales and Hawkshead Brewery, and have enabled the distributor to provide “premium products with strong regional brands”.

The change to Halewood’s line-up at the beginning of the month also included the addition of Centenario Internacional Rum to its UK portfolio.

Halewood will now be responsible for importing and distributing Centenario Internacional Rum, including the Costa Rica producer’s 7, 9 and 12-year-old expressions, as well its solera 25 and 30 variants.

Halewood finished by saying further updates about a potential sale would be shared in due course.