Scotch Whisky society owner eyes potential IPO after a successful year

The owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is considering flotation on the AIM market following a 3% rise in revenues to £15m. Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC) has appointed investment bank N+1 Singer to help it to explore its funding options for an initial public offering (IPO). The IPO is expected to allow private equity firms reduce their stakes as well as issue of new shares to raise capital. Consumer brands investor Inverleith has the largest shareholding in the company with a 30% stake. The SMWS has appointed Mark Hunter, the former global chief executive at American brewing group Molson Coors as the new Chair for the company to help its bid for an IPO. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was established in 1983 and is headquartered in Edinburgh. It has more than 28,000 paying subscribers worldwide, to which it sells its products directly. Its Scotch malts and craft spirits are sourced from more than 100 distilleries in 20 countries. ASC released its results for the last financial year, which saw the company continue to benefit from the growing demand for premium single cask Scotch malt whisky both domestically and abroad. The society believes the increase in revenue to £15m was “driven” by a 30% increase in its e-commerce sales and international sales, which accounted for 69% for overall revenue compared to 59% in 2019. With China buying more than £3m worth of Scotch whisky and the US with £2.7m respectively were the largest markets. The society saw a 4% increase in membership to 28,300.

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