Loch Lomond sells to investment group

6th June, 2019 by Amy Hopkins

A global investment firm has acquired Scotch whisky maker Loch Lomond Group for an undisclosed sum.

Loch Lomond has been bought by Hillhouse Capital Management

Hillhouse Capital Management has bought Loch Lomond from UK-based Exponent Private Equity, marking a “major step” in the distiller’s international growth ambitions.

Exponent originally acquired Loch Lomond Group, which owns the Loch Lomond Highlands distillery and Glen Scotia Campbeltown distillery, from the Bulloch family in 2014.

Since then, the whisky maker’s international business has grown to account for 70% of its revenue, compared to 10% at the time of the acquisition. Now, Loch Lomond is targeting further growth in Asia, where Hillhouse “has deep knowledge and strong business relationships”.

“Over the past five years we are proud to have transformed the Loch Lomond Group into a premium international spirits business with a strong focus on innovation and a portfolio of award-winning brands,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group.

“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.”

Wei Cao, partner at Hillhouse Capital, added: “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 realise the potential of its outstanding brands in huge new consumer markets, such as Asia.”

Loch Lomond’s history dates back to the 19th century. In addition to the Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia brands, the firm produces High Commissioner blended Scotch, Glen’s Vodka and the recently launched Ben Lomond Gin.

The Loch Lomond brand is the official ‘spirit of The Open’ as part of a five-year partnership with the golf championship, agreed in 2018.

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