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Thai beer and spirits firm buys Inver House Distillers

 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Thai beer and spirits firm buys Inver House Distillers Reply with quote

Thai beer and spirits firm buys Inver House Distillers
NICK BEVENS

INVER House Distillers, the Airdrie-based producer of whisky brands including Old Pulteney and Knockdhu, Heather Cream liqueur and Coldstream London Gin, has been bought for a "high eight-figure sum" by International Beverage Holdings (InterBev), the international arm of Thai Beverages.

Inver was founded in 1964, originally supplying the US market with the Inver House Green Plaid brand of blended Scotch Whisky. In 1988 it was sold to a management buyout and then again in 2001 to Pacific Spirits UK, part of the Virgin Islands-based Great Oriole Group, for £58m.

It currently exports to over 80 countries worldwide and produces 500,000 barrels of whisky a year, and had an 8 per cent rise in turnover.

InterBev was established in 2003 to support the export and international business of Thai Beverages. It has major operations in its home country, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, the UK and North America.

Bangkok-based ThaiBev produces Chang Beer, Mekhong and Sangsom rums, and employs 20,000 people. It has a 60 per cent share of the Thai beer market, a 74 per cent share of the Thai spirits market and was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in May.

InterBev said yesterday that operations at Inver House's Airdrie HQ and at its five Scottish distilleries including Old Pulteney at Wick, Scotland's most northerly distillery, will be "unchanged for the company's 150 Scottish-based staff".

InterBev president Barrie Jackson said: "Their brands are growing fast and have a reputation for quality and distinction, in particular whiskies such as Old Pulteney, which has had a fantastic year in terms of sales. Our focus is now to drive the business."

Inver's managing director, Graham Stevenson, added: "The shift into InterBev will allow us to capitalise on this success, and it will facilitate exciting brand development and expansion."

Source "The Scotsman" Newspaper Online
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