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Hong Kong company acquires 49% stake of Whisky Hammer

The founders of online auction firm Whisky Hammer and its sister retail business Still Spirit have sold a 49% stake to Rare Whisky Holdings, a Hong Kong-based whisky investment group.

Whisky Hammer founders Craig and Daniel Milne

The multi-million-pound deal is expected to deliver a 2.6 times return to retail investors on their original investment, who participated in its crowdfunding campaign just two years ago.

Whisky Hammer started its business in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside, an area renowned for the production of Scotch whisky.

Rare Whisky Holdings, under the same management team behind the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund.

Launched in 2014, Platinum Whisky Investment Fund is the first private equity fund in the world to focus on rare single-malt whiskies. The company raised USD 12 million and is in the final stage of its wind down, exiting at over USD 24 million in 7 years.

Rare Whisky Holdings also owns the Glenor Cask Company, which holds 1,000 casks of maturing single malt, blended, and grain whiskies. The existing registered members of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit will still receive exclusive access to a range of cask opportunities for the long-term despite the new partnership.

Whisky Hammer hosts monthly whisky and other fine spirits auctions which attracted international buyers and sellers around the world to participate. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.

A recent feature included the 31-Year-Old Black Bowmore ‘DB5’ collaboration with Aston Martin, distilled in 1964 and sold for a hammer price of £81,000 in March 2021. The company saw a 70% growth in revenue in 2020.

Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit – a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste.

Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The transaction signifies an important bond with our new Asian partner that will rapidly bring the group to the next phase of growth, and we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead. In addition, we are delighted to have generated a substantial return for our crowdfunding investors that helped us build the business to where it is today.”

Rickesh Kishnani, Co-Founder of Rare Whisky Holdings commented “Our investment group is proud to join the Milne family business and help with their expansion to Asia, where the demand for whisky continues to grow at a rapid pace. We are also excited to use this new partnership to provide Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit members with exclusive access to our collection of aged casks.”

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