Roll Out The Barrels
Phase 1 of our project was the purchase of the Guinness Brewery from Diageo in December 2014 for €7.5m. We then spent €2m during 2015 converting it to a modern distillery; developed a unique barley supply chain; distilled 1m litres of new spirit traceable to 46 farm terroirs by January 2017; and established a bespoke warehouse complex at Ballygarran.
Phase 1 is now complete, on budget and on schedule. The quality of the spirit is first rate supported by both taste and analysis.
We now move to phase II, as outlined in our plan, the total focus of building up stock volumes to 5m litres.
Distilling is an expensive business. And with no revenue stream (deliberately) at this early stage, all the more so.
It is a testament to the strength of the company – the Facilitator, people, shareholders and spirit – that it has secured €20m new funding for Phase II with the investment of €5.8m from BGF (Business Growth Fund) and a €14.4m debt facility with Ulster Bank.
At the same time as the Ulster facility, BGF was invited to make their first investment in an Irish business. We’re delighted to have them aboard.
This €20m funding of whisky stock leads, inevitably, to Phase III, the exciting bit, bringing the whisky to market. Roll out those barrels.