BI acquires 25% stake in gin brand Gilpin’s

Fine wine and spirits merchant BI and Michael Spencer, the CEO of Nex Group and also the chairman of BI, have acquired a joint 25% stake in the London-based Westmorland Spirits, which owns gin brand Gilpin’s.

The investment will enable Westmorland Spirits, based in Battersea, to make use of BI’s global distribution centre in London to accelerate Gilpin’s sales and exports, and fund further marketing activity of the brand and development of new products for the premium spirits market.

“This partnership opens up several doors for us in the UK, marketing to wine and spirits connoisseurs as well as the high-end on trade,” said Matthew Gilpin, director of Westmorland Spirits Ltd and the creator of Gilpin’s Gin, of the partnership.

“BI Wines & Spirits already sell the finest wines to the best hotels and bars and we are delighted to join that stable. Furthermore, BI’s significant Asia presence will bring our products to a market brimming with interest and potential.”

Established in 2010, Westmorland Spirits created its own brand, Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin is already stocked in a variety of high-end bars and restaurants, including the The Ivy chain of restaurants, Hix Soho, Sexy Fish and Duke’s Hotel Bar.

The London-distilled gin contains botanicals of sage, borage, lime and bitter orange, as well as the more traditional botanicals of juniper, coriander, angelica root and lemon peel.

BI was established in 1997 and founded by South African-born Gary Boom with the aim of making the world of fine wine accessible to a broader audience. The company has offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Los Angeles.

“I have known Matthew Gilpin for many years and Gilpin’s is my house gin. It makes the perfect G&T and Martini – every home and bar should have a bottle,” said Boom. “Matthew has developed a seriously smart brand and I look forward to working with him to help grow and develop his brand.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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