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Whisky firm funding

Aceo secures £15m asset-backed deal for expansion

Aceo is keen to promote its brands around the world

Aceo, a supplier of cask and bottled whisky, has secured a £15 million asset-based lending package from Santander to help expand its brands around the world.

Now headquartered at the site of the old Coleburn distillery on Speyside, it was founded in 1999 by managing director Edward Odim in Gloucestershire and in 2013 acquired independent bottler Murray McDavid from the owners of Bruichladdich distillery on Islay.

The company uses the former Coleburn warehouses for its own cask storage, and offers services including brokering of casks, storage and a full bottling and labelling service.

Part of its expansion plans will include a substantial new distribution hub in the central belt.

Mr Odim said: “Leveraging our substantial whisky stocks makes great sense.  It will enable us to continue growing at the pace we want and further develop our brands globally.  More importantly it will allow us to achieve our ambitions with greater financial stability and certainty in the years ahead.”

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Gavin Smith, asset based lending director with Santander, commented: “’As Aceo looks to expand further, our international presence will be invaluable in making connections into new markets, as well as providing bespoke funding for working capital.”

HNH, which led the refinancing of the GlenAllachie Distillers Co. in February, advised Aceo on securing the deal with Santander.

Bruce Walker from HNH, said: “Appetite for the credit was strong, reflecting the strength of both Aceo, as a business, and the whisky market more widely.”

Legal advice to Aceo was provided by Peter Kelly of Brodies and the inventory valuation exercise by Mark Driscoll of SIA Group. Jenny Allan of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang provided legal advice to Santander.



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