Oxfordshire-based honey-infused spirits distiller British Honey Company acquires Leicestershire-based Union Distillers for £8m.
With the acquisition, British Honey Company aims to create and grow a multi-category brand portfolio across several geographies with broader access to the UK off-trade market through developing its product portfolio and increasing its market presence and customer base. It will be led by increased marketing, new product development and significantly larger e-commerce revenue.
Union Distillers produces the Two Birds brand, which is made up of 11 gins, seven vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe, and an espresso vodka liquor, which are sold across retail and wholesale in the UK.
Founded in 2013, Union Distillers was created by engineer and gin enthusiast Mark Gamble, who will join the British Honey Company’s board as an executive director and will play a key role in the integration, development and growth of the combined group.
Following the completion of the deal, the British Honey Company is planning to purchase a new canning line and to enhance the production facilities at Union Distillers, which includes stills and a bonded warehouse.
British Honey Company said the combined group will make up 4% of the UK craft spirits market. The combined capacity will enable the company to produce 3 million bottles, 7 million cans and 5 million miniatures (50ml) in 2021.
According to the British Honey Company, the combined business will benefit from well-established brands with strong brand recognition and retail footprint, significantly broader access to the UK off-trade, and a new larger customer base.
Furthermore, the deal will boost production and warehousing capacity and integrated production, IT and marketing systems, and proprietary software infrastructure.
The British Honey Company was launched in 2014 in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, in the beautiful village of Yarnton. The company produces a range of Keepr’s honey-infused spirits – gin, rum, bourbon, vodka, a ready-to-drink selection of hard seltzers, and a low alcohol gin and tonic.
The company has over 275 hives in England and source only the finest honey from bee farmers accredited by The Bee Farmers’ Association.
In 2020, it acquired the brands of the London Distillery Company – Dodd’s Organic Gin, Rye and Single Malt Whiskeys – which went into administration. Later in the year, the company extended its partnership with English Heritage to produce English-heritage branded gins, and it launched an affordable luxury spirits range, 1606.