Lowland malt whisky distiller strikes £80m funds deal

Leonard Russell. Picture: Chris Watt
Leonard Russell. Picture: Chris Watt
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Family-owned spirits firm Ian Macleod Distillers, which last month announced plans to revive the lowland single malt Rosebank, has secured an £80 million refinancing package.

The Broxburn-headquartered company, which operates the Tamdhu, Glengoyne and Edinburgh Gin distilleries, has been provided with the asset-based debt facilities by Bank of Scotland and PNC Business Credit in a deal advised on by KPMG.

Ian Macleod, founded by Leonard J Russell senior more than 80 years ago, said the agreement would “position the business for its next phase of growth”.

The company carries out ­distilling, maturation and ­bottling and 70 per cent of sales are to export markets.

Finance director Mike Younger said: “This transaction provides us with a ­platform for growth, provided by a supportive banking club. The role played by KPMG was instrumental in securing the facility on flexible and competitive terms.”

Bruce Walker from KPMG’s debt advisory team said the deal followed a highly competitive market process “reflecting the strength of both the business and the whisky ­market more widely”.

For the year ended September 2016, Ian Macleod, which employs 118 people, achieved revenues of £64.7m.

Last month it unveiled plans to resurrect the Rosebank distillery in Falkirk and has entered into a binding ­agreement with Scottish Canals to purchase the site and has separately acquired the Rosebank trademark.

At the time of the announcement managing director ­Leonard Russell said: “Rosebank is one of the most respected and sought after ­single malts in the world.

“To bring back to life an ­iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The refinancing deal came as figures yesterday showed that, in the first nine months of the year, exports of Scotch whisky rose by 11 per cent to more than £3 billion. Fresh Atlantic salmon worth £483m was also exported from the UK during the same period, according to HMRC statistics.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scottish whisky and Scottish salmon are iconic products, representing everything that is great about Scottish produce.

“These figures reflect the strength and resilience of our food and drink industry, the potential it has to grow and also highlights the importance of Scotland’s continued access to the European single market.”