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Jan 18, 2016 9:42 EST

The Cotswolds Distillery: Well on the way to becoming a leading producer of world class ultra-premium whisky, gin and other branded spirits

iCrowdNewswire - Jan 18, 2016

About The Cotswolds Distillery

The Company, which began operations in September 2014, was created to capitalise on the significant opportunities in the ultra-premium craft spirits market, already very much in evidence in the USA, and now increasingly in the UK [1]. It is situated in an ideal location in one of England’s wealthiest [2] and most visited areas, the Cotswolds (http://cotswolds.com/). The Company is producing maturing stocks of whisky at the rate of 175,000 bottles equivalent per annum and have introduced a range of other branded spirits to the market including gin, espresso martini, liqueurs and fruit brandies. These products are being sold already through some of the UK’s most important retailers and distributors such as Majestic Wines [3], Fortnum and Mason [4], Oddbins[5], Harvey Nichols [6], and The Whisky Exchange [7], and also into numerous export markets including the US, Germany, France and Japan. The onsite visitor centre has proved its worth even quicker than expected, drawing nearly 1,000 visitors per month this summer.

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What sets Cotswolds Distillery apart?

While the Cotswolds Distillery is not alone in the UK craft distillery movement, the director believes his strategy puts the Cotswolds Distillery in a very strong competitive position and that it will drive exceptional growth through a series of differentiators:

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How does the Cotswolds Distillery generate revenue?

The Cotswolds Distillery generates revenue from both products and experiences. Its spirits are sold in numerous channels, including through its on-site visitor centre, through mass market and specialist retailers, the bar and restaurant trade, wholesalers and into export markets. In its shop the Cotswolds Distillery also sells branded clothing and accessories. Alongside its products, the Cotswolds Distillery generates additional revenue from its distillery tours and events such as distillery dinners, promotions and classes. The tours drive additional buyers into its shop. In addition, the Company has been very successful in pre-selling its whisky in both bottles and barrels for delivery in 2018 and beyond, which provides welcome up-front cash flow. 

What is the Market for its products?

The director believes that there is a revolution occurring in the global spirits industry and that consumers are turning away from traditional branded spirits to higher priced ultra-premium products from a new breed of artisanal craft distillers that have been springing up in the US, the UK and across the world (Nielsen report) [11].  According to Nielsen estimates, while the overall demand for spirits in the UK grew at 3.61% pa over the 12 months period ending August 2015, consumption of craft spirits grew at 47%.  Premium spirits brands are growing despite slow economic growth [12] because, according to the director’s opinion, they offer consumers an affordable luxury.

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Why invest in The Cotswolds Distillery?

Although the Company has only been trading since 2014, it is now a well-established business that is well ahead of its initial plan on all key metrics: whisky production, gin sales, export sales and overall revenues. The Cotswolds Distilleries’ products have achieved very strong reviews from customers [13] and expert reviewers alike, with noted whisky writer Jim Murray recently awarding its young single malt 94 out of 100 points and classifying it as “Liquid Gold” [14]. 

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What is the Company’s plan for growth?

In the coming three years the Company believes that growth will be driven by several key elements: 1) launch of its whisky onto the market in October 2017, 2) building on the early success of its gin and other spirits with further market penetration across all sales channels, 3) increased visitor traffic through the distillery and onsite shop. Underpinning this is the extraordinary level of demand growth for premium craft spirits, reported at approximately 50% for the 12 months period ending August 2015 [15]. The capital raised in this crowdfunding round will enable the Company to fund all these elements of its growth plan. Additional growth opportunities for a later phase are planned through: 1) a low cost doubling of whisky production, 2) expansion of the visitor centre and 3) opening of a satellite storefront in a nearby Cotswolds town. 

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Investment Offer

The Company is now seeking additional equity funding of a minimum of £500,500 and a maximum of £1,001,000 to allow for the next phase of growth after which it expects to be self-funding prior to an eventual public listing.  The investment is EIS eligible which allows early investors to benefit from significant tax relief on income and capital gains on what the director believes will be a very profitable exit at the time when Company achieves a public listing.  

Exit Strategy

The Company believes it would make an ideal candidate for listing on an exchange such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). This would offer liquidity to its investors as well as a potential source of new capital for further growth investment. Alternatively, the Company will consider buying back a reasonable number of shares each year once it has become strongly cash generative. Lastly, with the very strong growth in consumer interest in premium craft spirits[16], the major spirits companies have bought a number of brands at very attractive prices[17], as noted above, and the Company would be open to this possibility under the right circumstances.

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Contact Information:

Daniel Szor

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