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Lakes Distillery sells stake to investment firm

Cumbria’s Lakes Distillery has sold a minority stake of its business to investment firm Comhar Capital for £4.25 million (US$5.5m) to support its growth plans.

The Lakes Distillery is based in England’s Lake District

The funding will support the English producer’s ongoing investment programme and “continued growth” in maturing whisky stocks.

It will also assist with investment in the distillery and visitor centre and will see production capacity triple to more than 1m bottles annually.

Nigel Mills, co-founder and CEO of The Lakes Distillery, said: “Our vision is to create a global luxury single malt whisky brand. It’s an ambitious goal and one which means quality is at the heart of everything we do. A sentiment very much shared by Comhar.

“The new investment will help to sustain our ongoing programme of capital investment which, in 2020, will see single malt whisky production treble from 400,000 bottles pa [per annum] to 1.2 million, the installation of eight new washbacks to facilitate 24-hour distillation, construction of a new racked warehouse, and support for our aspiration to increase sales in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.”

The funding is the fourth investment from Leeds-based Comhar Capital, which was established in 2018 by Neil Armstrong and Craig Wilkinson. Comhar managing director Wilkinson will join The Lakes Distillery’s board.

“We’re really delighted to be working with the team at The Lakes and supporting them to deliver on their global growth ambitions,” said Wilkinson.

“In a relatively short space of time Nigel and the team have successfully established The Lakes brand in the market and its reputation for quality. The Lakes Distillery is very impressive and a real credit to the team.”

The UK distillery, which was founded in 2014, produces English whisky, gin and vodka. Last November, The Lakes Distillery revealed a new bottle design for The Lakes Vodka to bring it in line with the company’s portfolio.

In October last year, The Lakes Distillery unveiled significant changes to its portfolio as its expansion plans progressed.

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