Halewood buys stake in West Cork Distillers
Halewood International has acquired a “significant stake” in Irish whiskey producer West Cork Distillers as the firm seeks to expand its footprint in the category.
Halewood already distributes West Cork Distillers’ products in eight markets and last year bought a 50% stake in The Pogues Irish Whiskey – which was launched by the eponymous Irish folk and punk band in partnership with West Cork.
The independent distillery, first launched in 2003, produces a blended Irish whiskey and a 10-year-old single malt Irish whiskey finished in Sherry casks. A small batch release of a 12-year-old Sherry cask whiskey is also planned for later this year.
“This purchase reflects our commitment to working with West Cork Distillers to develop a long-term partnership, for the Distillery, Skibbereen and the beautiful County of Cork,” said Stewart Hainsworth, chief executive of Halewood Wine & Spirits.
“West Cork Distillers has a great brand story to tell, and their innovation and passion for whiskey will help to deliver further success.
“Halewood continues to grow its spirits portfolio with craft products that offer the trade and consumers a point-of-difference from the mainstream brands. West Cork Distillers reflects our entrepreneurial attitude to develop new products and increase distribution both in the UK and internationally.”
Halewood has grown its business rapidly over recent months. The company unveiled and new spirits line, JJ Whitley, in March this year and two months later acquired Liverpool Gin for an undisclosed sum.
“This partnership offers a great opportunity to take the business forward,” said John O’Connell, MD and co-founder of West Cork Distillers. “It strengthens our offering in new markets whilst supporting our existing, and greatly valued, distribution partners to greater degree through the development of a cohesive marketing strategy.
“We are looking forward to the future; Halewood is a great partner to have in your corner.”