Halewood Wines & Spirits seeking buyer for £200m sale

The family behind Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and Lambrini, Halewood Wine & Spirits, is exploring the possibility of selling its business, in a deal that could be worth £200 million, according to City analysts.

Judy Halewood, the widow of its founder, John Halewood, has put the business up for sale

Judy Halewood, who chairs Halewood Wines & Spirits, is seeking a buyer for the company she inherited from its founder, her late partner John, who died in 2010. She has hired NM Rothschild to carry out a “strategic review” to explore options, including a sale.

The company’s CEO, Stewart Hainsworth said: “I can confirm that Rothschild has been appointed to explore strategic options for the shareholders of Halewood Wines & Spirits.

“This is an exciting time for the business, which our management team have been working towards for three years. We have refocused the business on artisanal spirits and craft beers, which has driven a significant upturn in profit.

“Our success has been driven by investment in equipment, acquisitions and marketing support and further fuelled by a high growth brand portfolio, which includes Whitley Neill, currently the number one premium gin brand by volume in UK Supermarkets.

“Whitley Neill’s success is being replicated internationally, as reported recently the brand has also broken into the US market.”

John Halewood founded the Huyton-based business in 1978 as Halewood Vintners, growing it to become one of Britain’s largest distributors with brands including Whitley Neill gin, Liverpool Gin, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Lambrini and Dead Man’s Fingers rum.

Last year Halewood bought a majority stake in well-known Lake District brewery Hawkshead, while it also invested in Black Country firm Sadler’s Brewery.

“We are continually working towards delivering the best for our customers,” added Hainsworth. “Our investment in craft distilleries and breweries, including The City of London Distillery, Sadler’s Ales and Hawkshead Brewery, enables us to provide premium products with strong regional brands, in addition to offering consumer activation venues.

“Our discussions with Rothschild are a natural progression of the new strategy I brought to the business. We will be sharing further updates about this exciting journey in due course.”

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