Drinks agreement

Artisanal secures firepower to expand overseas

David Ridley: clear strategy

Whisky curator and distributor The Artisanal Spirits Company, has secured a two-year extension of its banking facility with an uplift to £21.5 million from £18.5m that will give it added firepower to achieve its overseas targets.

Alongside the new terms with RBS, the owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has signed a partnership agreement in Malaysia, migrating its operations in the region to Drinks Alliance.

This provides a new route to market in the area and further strengthens the group’s geographic footprint in South East Asia. 

Malaysia is the 12th largest market within the global Ultra-Premium Scotch Malt Whisky sector, based on value, and was estimated to be worth $102m in 2021, up by 49% vs 2020.  This follows the group’s recent entry into South Korea in October with an inaugural franchise agreement in that location, as ASC continues to expand its global footprint into new growth markets.  

David Ridley, managing director, commented: “The extended facility provides us with further firepower to continue to grow our membership base both in the UK and internationally, to launch the group’s American Whiskey proposition in H1 next year and to continue to invest in further spirit stock for ageing, underpinning ASC’s future growth. 

“We have a clear strategy and a pioneering model to maximise the benefit from favourable long-term growth drivers. 

“We will continue to execute against our growth strategy to deliver a doubling of sales between 2020 and 2024 in a disciplined and measured way with expansion evidenced by our international partnership agreements in territories such as Malaysia announced today and in South Korea in November, two of the fastest growing whisky markets in the world.   

“We have an exceptional opportunity and remain well positioned to capitalise on it with whisky stocks to satisfy all demand until 2028 and 75% of demand until 2033.”

The directors expect to update the market on trading in the financial year ending 31 December on or around 23 January.

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