Business Growth Fund

Business fund provides £5m for Irish whiskey distillery

Business Growth Fund (BGF) has completed its first investment that directly support an Irish business after providing £5m for a whiskey distillery.

London-based Renegade Spirits will use the funds to scale up production of single malt whiskey at its distillery in Waterford, Ireland.

The investment was delivered in conjunction with Ulster Bank, which contributed an additional €14.4m (approximately £12.2m) facility.

Mark Reynier of Renegade said: “We have known about BGF and their ability to provide long-term capital to growing teams for some time.

“Their patient, minority investment approach fits well with our own growth plans and we are looking forward to working with the team.

“We are hugely excited by what we are doing at Waterford Distillery and for the prospects ahead.”    

This latest investment marks the second wave of growth for Renegade, having purchased Waterford’s former Guinness brewery in December 2014 for conversion into a modern distillery.

By January 2017, the company had distilled one million litres of new spirit and established a bespoke warehouse complex at Ballygarran.

Renegade now hopes to build its stock volumes to five million litres of whiskey and distil maturing stocks at a rate of one million per year.

Andy Gregory, regional director at BGF (pictured above), added: “We have long admired the track record of Mark and the other founders of Renegade Spirits and were keen to back this credible and ambitious team.

“Making great whiskey requires commitment and patience; so does investment.

“We are preparing to strengthen our presence in Ireland and are keen to hear from more ambitious businesses that want to scale up their operations.”

To date, BGF has invested £1.2bn in over 175 companies.

The company claims it was the UK’s most active investor in 2016, providing £387m of funding to SMEs.

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