Fever-Tree sells a 25% stake for £12 million
In recent years, the premium spirits market has boomed in both Britain and America. Drinkers have traded up and become more and more demanding in their choices. Spirits brands have seized on this trend and created what they claim to be better products and enclosed them in fancier packaging. Many, such as No. 3 gin, Sipsmith and Purity Vodka, are truly excellent but frankly a lot of it is marketing hype.
Accompanying the change has been a desire for a better mixer. The premise that it was illogical that a consumer buying a bottle of vodka for £50 would then mix it with cheap tonic water was the starting point that set Charles Rolls and Tim Warrilow on the road to create Fever-Tree.
Rolls, the man credited with successfully relaunching Plymouth Gin, and Warrilow, an advertising executive, came together eight years ago with a plan to create a new spirit brand but were quickly diverted to tonic. Of their starting point, Warrilow told The Telegraph’s Carolyn Hart:
“We talked briefly about gin but got on to the subject of the lack of a decent tonic water… They were all synthetic, full of preservatives. We wanted to make one that changed the status quo. After all, a G&T is three–quarters tonic. You should pay attention to the tonic”.
Having found the best quinine in eastern Congo, bitter orange from Tanzania and lemon from Sicily, Fever-Tree commenced production in Shepton Mallet in Somerset in 2005 and saw demand for their product boom. In time, they expanded their range to also include light lower calorie Indian tonic water, bitter lemon, ginger ale, ginger beer, club soda and lemonade.
From their Kings Road headquarters, the company promoted itself widely and secured success not only in top-end venues like The Ritz and Claridge’s but also deals with Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. Revenues for 2012 were £16.2 million and now Rolls and Warrilow have just sold a 25% stake in Fever-Tree for £12 million.
This deal with Lloyds Development Capital values the business at £48 million and Rolls and Warrilow, who will remain at the helm, intend to use the funds raised to expand their presence in not only the UK but also in America and Spain, which is, of course, one of the world’s largest gin markets.
This is just the tonic that the British economy needs right now. Our congratulations to Messrs Rolls and Warrilow.
For more information about Fever-Tree, go to: http://www.fever-tree.com
Follow Fever-Tree on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/FeverTreeMixers