The Lakes Distillery mulls £15m IPO

The Lakes Distillery, the “English single malt” whisky distillery, announced it is exploring the possibility of seeking admission of its shares to trading on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s market for smaller firms.

The company has appointed N+1 Singer as its nominated adviser and broker in relation to a possible IPO and a potential fundraising via a placing with institutional shareholders to raise up to £15 million later this year.

The Lakes Distillery was formed in 2011 and commenced operations in December 2014 with the aspiration to create a global luxury whisky brand.

As well as distilling and maturing initial stocks of premium single malt whisky the company has built a portfolio of spirits brands including a world’s first blend of British Isles whiskies called The ONE; Steel Bonnets, a world’s first of English and Scottish blended malt whiskies; The Lakes Gin; The Lakes Vodka; and a range of flavoured liqueurs.

The company was founded in September 2011 by Paul Currie, COO, when he acquired the distillery site located in the Lake District National Park, and was later joined by Nigel Mills, CEO and co-founder in April 2012.

As it positions itself for the next stage of growth, the company has assembled a board and senior executive management team.

The executive team includes Deloitte-trained David Robinson as chief financial officer, and Dhavall Gandhi, who joined the company from The Macallan Distillers, as chief whiskymaker.

Non-executive directors comprise Alan Rutherford, chairman, who held the role of production director at Diageo from 1989 until his retirement in 2000; Tim Farazmand, formerly a managing director of Lloyds Development Capital, where he backed high-growth opportunities in the consumer sector including Fever-Tree Drinks; Paul Neep, formerly CEO, and latterly chairman of the whisky distiller Glenmorangie, where he was instrumental in building the premium global luxury whisky brand Ardbeg and in the latter years worked closely with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy following the sale of Glenmorangie to LVMH in 2005; and Richard Hutton, finance director of Greggs plc.

The Lakes Distillery CEO Nigel Mills said: “The Lakes Distillery has strong brand credentials, is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has a successful track record of innovation and brand development.

“We believe we are well positioned for growth, with multiple revenue streams, and an appreciating asset in the form of our whisky stock, developed using our multi-oak, multi-sherry led production process.

“We are exploring an IPO as a flexible source of capital to allow us to increase our production significantly, whilst remaining independent and focused on quality, as well as investing in our whisky stock, our sales and marketing capabilities and our distribution channels.

“Ultimately this will help us to achieve our ambition to build a global luxury whisky brand.”