Belfast Telegraph

Private equity firms look over craft gin distillery

A pack of private equity firms is circling a British craft gin distillery in the hope of cashing in on a surge in the drink's popularity.

Northamptonshire-based Warner Edwards has been courted by several funds as turnover at the company rockets.

The business, founded in 2012, is on course to see revenues more than double from £828,946 last year to £2.5 million in 2016 - with the firm targeting £10 million to £15 million in sales over the next five years.

Founding partner Tom Warner told the Press Association: "We're being courted by three or four private equity firms who have made soft approaches.

"The next move is to get investment to break through to the next level. We want to triple production next year, buy new equipment and grow staff numbers."

The company's gin, which includes rhubarb and elderflower varieties, are stocked in the likes of Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose.

Gin's popularity has risen markedly over the past few years, and recent figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that British Gin exports have risen 166% by value since 2000.

"I'm confident the gin bubble won't burst, because it's a versatile, sophisticated spirit," Mr Warner added.