Halewood announces new distillery amid plans to sell

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

22 May 2018

After a strong financial year in 2017, Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributor behind bar favourites such as Crabbie’s and Whitley Neill and City of London gin, is looking to sell.

Why leave when business is on the up? It might have something to do with the fact that the sale is estimated to net £200m.

Judy Halewood, the chair of Halewood Wines & Spirits, has hired NM Rothschild to explore options for a possible sale.

Halewood's late husband John, who founded the business under the name of Halewood Vintners in 1978, left it to her in his will. Along with John Halewood’s executors and family trust, she has owned the majority of the company since her husband’s passing in 2010.

In 2017, the business focused on growth strategies such as increasing exports, investing in equipment and making acquisitions, including buying a majority stake in Lake District brewery Hawkshead. This shift towards artisanal spirits and craft beers paid off for the company to the tune of £3.9m during the last financial year.

But the announcement of a potential sale has not put a halt to Halewood’s plans for expansion: Halewood recently revealed that it is investing over £7m in a new Scotch distillery in Leith for its whisky brand John Crabbie & Co.

As the first single malt distillery to open its doors in Leith in 100 years, the new Crabbie’s facility promises to continue to build the Halewood brand – undoubtedly an appealing prospect to someone with a spare £200m lining their pockets.


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