Speyside whisky firm GlenAllachie cheers major £30m funding deal to support global growth

The GlenAllachie Distillers Company has landed a £30 million funding boost as the Speyside whisky business eyes further global growth.

Whisky industry veteran Billy Walker is the man behind GlenAllachie. Picture: Simon Price

The firm has secured the asset-based lending package from Clydesdale Bank thanks to help from the new Scottish arm of Belfast-based boutique corporate finance specialist HNH.

GlenAllachie, which was the winner of the distillery of the year award at the Scottish Whisky Awards, will use the financial facility to fund working capital and capital expenditure as it continues to develop its brand around the world.

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The GlenAllachie distillery, which is located near Aberlour, and a significant volume of mature whisky was bought from spirits giant Chivas by Billy Walker and his team in 2017.

The whisky company appointed Bruce Walker, a director of HNH’s Edinburgh team, to lead the refinancing exercise. The Scottish office of HNH was established last year to advise small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and family-owned firms during mergers and acquisitions, debt and transaction services.

Billy Walker, managing director of GlenAllachie, said: “This new debt facility will enable us to continue our journey at the pace we want and further develop GlenAllachie as a premium single malt brand around the world.”

HNH’s Walker said: “This deal is a great result for GlenAllachie, and the outcome of a competitive process led locally by the HNH team.

Crystal clear

“We were delighted to work with such a high-quality asset with an outstanding management team with a crystal clear strategic vision. It was also good to work again with Clydesdale Bank who were able to deliver a compelling proposal based on their clear understanding of the sector and strong existing relationship with the GlenAllachie team.

“Appetite for the credit was strong reflecting the strength of both the business and the whisky market more widely.”

Alan Gilchrist, the finance director of GlenAllachie, added: “We were very pleased with the way Bruce and Fiona King of HNH managed the process and left us to continue running the business. The input we received from HNH was invaluable in securing our deal.

“Asset-based lending is ideal for us as it provides highly flexible funds secured against our appreciating whisky stocks.”

HNH said it had advised the distiller on securing an inventory only, asset-based debt facility on a committed basis for a four-year period on “significantly improved terms”.

David Hunter, director, asset based lending with Clydesdale Bank, Glasgow, said: “We are looking forward to working with the management team at GlenAllachie and are delighted to be able support them through such an exciting stage of their business.”

Legal advice to GlenAllachie was provided by Peter Kelly of Brodies and the inventory valuation exercise was provided by Christian Humphreys of Sanderson Weatherall. Euan Cluness of Addleshaw Goddard LLP provided legal advice to Clydesdale Bank.

HNH’s Edinburgh team, which includes Neal Allen, Harry Linklater and Henry Jones, has already completed an advisory role for R&W Scott. Other clients have been drawn from sectors including manufacturing and transport.

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