BGF announces cornerstone investment in Artisanal Spirits’ IPO

malt whisky

Growth capital investor BGF has completed an investment in The Artisanal Spirits Company plc, a specialist retailer of premium single cask, single malt Scotch whisky and other spirits, as part of its admission to trading on AIM. The admission took place on 4 June 2021.

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The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC) is the owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), a curator and provider of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky to a global customer base of subscribers. Founded in 1983, SMWS commands a membership of 28,000 members, across 30 countries.

BGF invested £7m in ASC as part of the IPO, which achieved a valuation of around £78m following the listing.

The deal marks BGF’s second investment in a Scottish IPO in 12 months, after BGF invested in Calnex Solutions plc, an established provider of test and measurement solutions for the global telecommunications sector in September 2020.

ASC has a track record of consistent growth. Between FY16 and FY19, revenues almost doubled from £7.6m to £14.6m, representing a CAGR of 24%. In FY20 revenue growth excluding sales from UK venues and events, which were significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, was 22%.

The funds raised through the IPO, along with the company’s existing cash resources, will allow ASC to develop its membership base, enhance its digital channels, grow internationally and bring new brands to market.

David Ridley, Managing Director at The Artisanal Spirits Company, said: “We are delighted to have completed our IPO, and are grateful for the support from new investors, such as BGF. The move onto the public markets will provide us with new capital, a raised profile and enhanced ability to bring new products to life, as we seek to capture an increased share of the growing market for premium Scotch whisky products to a global audience.”

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