G&J Greenall sold in management buyout

G&J Greenall, the UK’s oldest gin producer, has been sold for £7.5 million.

The company has been bought in a management buyout backed by a new private equity vehicle led by Enzo Visone, the ex-chief executive of Italian beverage group Gruppo Campari, and former investment banker Warren Scott.

The Warrington-based company, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, was sold by owner De Vere Group as part of its strategy to concentrate on its core hotel and venue business.

De Vere chairman Andrew Coppel said: “We decided to sell because we have been seeking to dispose of our non-core business.

“After selling catering company Searcys in June, 2010 this sale completes that process.

“The new owners are going to invest in the business and look forward to growing it.”

During 2010, revenues at the company totalled £46m.

The company, under chief executive Christian Rose, distils gin and vodka for its own brands – including Bloom and Greenall’s – and for clients including Bombay Sapphire and supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose.

It employs more that more than 100 people at its headquarters and distillery in Birchwood, which has been its home since a catastrophic fire destroyed its previous premises in 2005.

Greenall produces 70% of the UK’s gin and exports around the world.

Rose, now CEO of the newly formed G&J Greenall Group Ltd, said: “This represents an extremely exciting time for the company as we look towards the future of our business. Never before have we been more focussed on our branded portfolio of products alongside our third party bulk and bottling contracts.

“The move is intended to strengthen the position of G&J Greenall as one of the UK’s leading distillers of quality spirits and indeed, the future of the entire business overall.

“We will be working closely with the current management and new investors to continue our recent growth and capitalize on our innovations in both the on- and off-trade.”

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