SCOTLAND – Hillhouse Capital Management, a Hong-Kong based investment fund has announced it has acquired Loch Lomond Group, a spirit’s firm from Exponent Private Equity for an undisclosed sum.
Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most historic and iconic whisky producers and producers of brands such as Glen’s Vodka, High Commissioner, Glen Scotia and Littlemill.
It was acquired by Exponent from the Bulloch family in 2014 and is said to generate about 70% of its revenue from more than 100 international markets.
It operates several sites in Scotland including Loch Lomond malt and grain distilleries at Alexandria in Dunbartonshire, Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll and a bottling plant in Catrine, Ayrshire.
“Loch Lomond’s rich heritage in Scotch whisky gives the business a distinct advantage as they look to further build on their success across the world, especially in the increasingly discerning Asian spirits market,” said Wei Cao, Partner at Hillhouse Capital.
“Hillhouse’s experienced operational team will work closely with Loch Lomond’s management to help it offer a premium consumer experience in international markets through channels like e-commerce and new retail.
“We believe that the strongest advantages in business are innovative and differentiated products and management teams, which is why we are so excited to help Loch Lomond realize the potential of its outstanding brands in huge new consumer markets, such as Asia.”
The acquisition offers an opportunity for further growth particularly in Asia where the whisky category is growing in popularity.
Hillhouse provides the partnership with a strong track record of building long-term relationships with innovative consumer brands, such as Peet’s Coffee and Gimbor.
It has offices in Hong Kong, New York, Beijing and Singapore.
Last year it invested in bone broth protein supplement manufacturer Ancient Nutrition and organic baby food maker Little Freddie.
“We believe now is the right time to move forward into the next stage of our growth strategy as we look to innovate further, extend our portfolio of brands and continue to expand our international presence, particularly in Asia where Hillhouse has significant experience,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group.
“The team at Hillhouse have impressed us immensely, and we look forward to partnering with them as we embark on the next exciting stage of our journey.
“We share both their vision and dedication to premium consumer brands.”