US private equity firm eyes deal with Innis & Gunn

Founder Dougal Sharp would remain the largest shareholder of Innis & Gunn. Picture:
Founder Dougal Sharp would remain the largest shareholder of Innis & Gunn. Picture:
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A US private equity firm with links to luxury goods group LVMH has offered to buy a 27.9 per cent stake in Innis & Gunn in a deal that values the craft beer maker at about £52 million.

L Catterton, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, was formed last year in a partnership with consumer-focused investor Catterton, Glenmorangie owner LVMH and the family holding company of French tycoon and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault.

• READ MORE: Innis & Gunn sales team looks to make it a double

Edinburgh-based Innis & Gunn said it was recommending that shareholders accept the offer.

The move comes after rival beer producer BrewDog sold about 23 per cent of its business to TSG Consumer Partners in a transaction that valued the Aberdeenshire business at about £1 billion.

• READ MORE: BrewDog valued at £1bn after US equity firm investment deal

Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer Dougal Sharp said: “The craft beer category is booming globally, and this is a hugely exciting opportunity at the right time for us to build strongly on the solid foundations that have been laid to double our 2015 turnover by 2018.”

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He added: “Innovation and quality have been at the heart of Innis & Gunn’s success since day one, and this continues to drive us forward. Aside from providing additional capital to accelerate our growth plans, we believe L Catterton will strengthen our business with unparalleled expertise in brand building and a deep understanding of global consumer markets, sharing our vision and supporting our continued expansion and growth.”

Innis & Gunn saw its sales surge by 22 per cent last year, returning it to profit and putting it in reach of its £25m turnover target.

It also benefited from the integration of the Inveralmond Brewery business in Perth, which it bought last year, as it saw turnover grow to £14.3m in 2016, up from £11.8m in 2015.

• READ MORE: Innis & Gunn acquires Perth’s Inveralmond Brewery

The company swung to a pre-tax profit of £331,000 in 2016 from a loss of £275,000 the year, helped by favourable currency movements.

If the deal with L Catterton goes ahead, Sharp would remain as the largest single shareholder in Innis & Gunn, which recently raised £2.4m in a crowdfunding campaign.

L Catterton’s portfolio includes skincare brand Elemis, Pepe Jeans and upmarket bicycle maker Pinarello, ridden by four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and his Team Sky colleagues.

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