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Whisky funding

Artisanal Spirits Co raises £19.5m amid IPO talk

Mark Hunter: veteran support

The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC), owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, has raised £19.5 million in development funding ahead of a possible flotation of the business.

The new facilities from Royal Bank of Scotland and Lombard will enable the Society to further invest in whisky and other spirits stock as well as new cask wood.

Headquartered at The Vaults in Leith, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is a curator and provider of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky and other spirits for sale to a global membership of around 28,000 whisky fans. .

ASC posted a 3% growth in revenue to £15m last year following a 30% increase in e-commerce globally. Although venues were closed throughout most of the pandemic, membership of SMWS increased 4% in the year, owing to an increase in the number of sign-ups made through online channels.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been a customer of the Royal Bank of Scotland since 2015, after it was acquired from LVMH’s Glenmorangie company.

With a combination of investor support and the bank’s facilities, the company has been able to invest in long term stock holdings, a wide variety of cask inventory, the creation of subsidiaries in China, Japan and Australia, further development of its US sales and the purchase of property, including flats for members’ use near The Vaults.

The Artisanal Spirits Company recently announced beer industry stalwart and former Molson Coors President and CEO Mark Hunter as chairman and confirmed it was exploring a possible initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

David Ridley, managing director of The Artisanal Spirits Company, said: “While we had a number of challenges throughout the past 12 months, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has continued to thrive.”

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