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British Honey Co. : Admission to trading and first day of dealings

  •   16 March 2020

RNS Number : 1896G

British Honey Company PLC (The)

16 March 2020


16 March 2020

The British Honey Company

("BHC" the "Company")


BHC, the premium British Honey and Infused Spirits brand, is pleased to announce that admission of its shares to trading on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market ("AQSE") will take place and dealings will commence at 8.00 a.m. today, under the ticker BHC and ISIN number GB00B64Q03333.


The oversubscribed placing with institutional investors raised gross proceeds of £4.25m at a placing price of 110 pence per share.  The proceeds will principally be used by the Company for working capital purposes, strengthening the balance sheet and funding selective acquisitions.


Investment Highlights


BHC has established and owns a number of spirit brands, including the award winning premium brand Keepr's with an established market presence through supermarkets (Waitrose, Majestic and Amazon) and specialist outlets (Not On The High Street, Masters of Malt and HT Drinks), differentiated through the development of new products and by using honey produced by the Company;


BHC has invested in a modern production facility including a distillery with a computer-controlled 1,000 litre still and bottling plant capable of producing approximately 1.5 million bottles per year at capacity;


BHC has a HMRC compliant bonded warehouse for the storage of its own and third-party products which the Directors believe provides significant cash flow and supply chain advantages over many smaller craft producers ;


BHC has built a bespoke, end-to-end IT platform capable of supporting the entire business, including full traceability of production from still and hive to bottle and jar;


BHC is one of the leading independent producers of natural British honey in the UK, producing around 7 tonnes of British honey per year;


the distillery is operated by the multi-award-winning master distiller, Jamie Baggott, who has developed the current range of products to meet evolving trends and demographics in the market;


BHC is run by a skilled and knowledgeable Board, with experience across the drinks sector and corporate finance , supported by a talented and driven management team;


the Directors believe the Company is well positioned to develop a buy and build strategy by acquiring other gin or spirit producers in a consolidating UK market;


it has a partnership with the Tusmore Estate where it maintains most of its hives and where it is intending to establish a whiskey distillery and bonded warehouse;


it has obtained the Safe and Local Supplier Approval ("SALSA") accreditation which ensures the highest quality of safety and assurance from all of the Company's products and manufacturing process; and


the Company obtained advanced assurance for EIS investment in 2015 and the directors believe the Company is still eligible for EIS investment.


Cairn Financial Advisers LLP is acting as the Aquis Stock Exchange Corporate Adviser with Stanford Capital Partners Ltd as broker.

The Company's admission document is available to view on its website

Michael Williams, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are delighted by the considerable support from our new shareholders in this fundraise which was significantly oversubscribed. This IPO represents a landmark moment for BHC and will enable the business to grow both organically and through acquisitions as we continue to build our market share in the global spirits industry.


"I would like to thank all of our staff and business partners for their ongoing support and I would like to welcome our new shareholders to the register, we look forward to working with them during the next phase of our development."




The British Honey Company

Tel: +44 (0)80 0368 7612

Michael Williams, Founder and CEO




Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Aquis Stock Exchange Corporate Adviser)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880

Jo Turner / Liam Murray / Mark Rogers




Stanford Capital Partners (Broker)

Tel: +44 (0)20 3815 8880

Patrick Claridge / John Howes / Bob Pountney




IFC Advisory (PR)

Tel: +44 (0)20 3934 6630

Graham Herring / Florence Chandler




For further information, visit:



Notes to Editors

The British Honey Company is a UK based producer of spirits, honey and jams. It began trading in November 2014 initially focused on honey production and, later, expanding into honey infused spirits. The Company currently produces 13 honey products and 16 spirits including gin, vodka, rum and whiskey, many of which have won awards in the UK and abroad. These products are produced and stored in the Company's facilities in Worminghall, Buckinghamshire.

The Company's facilities provide it with a scalable platform from which the Directors plan to expand operations through organic growth and acquisition both in the UK and abroad. The Company has invested significantly in its infrastructure which includes, inter alia, a fully operational distillery with an electronic, computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and a bottling facility capable of processing the equivalent of approximately 1.5 million bottles per year. Further, the Company has developed proprietary software to manage the manufacturing process and sales which allows the Company, among other things, to trace single ingredients through to individual bottles of spirits or jars of honey. This meticulous approach has earned the Company accreditations from the Soil Association, for organic food certification, and from SALSA, for food safety. The Directors believe SALSA certification has only been awarded to approximately 39 producers of gin, vodka and whiskey in the UK.

As well as producing the Keepr's brand spirits, the distillery is an accredited, HMRC compliant, bonded warehouse for the storage of its own and third-party products. The Directors believe this provides the Company with significant financial and logistical advantages over many craft distilleries whilst also allowing it to provide an end-to-end distillation and bottling service to third party brands which it can do so within its existing spare capacity.

Board of Directors  


Sir Hugo Swire , aged 60 - Non-executive Chairman

Sir Hugo Swire was the Member of Parliament for East Devon from 2001 until retiring from Parliament in 2019. He has held various senior Ministerial offices for which he was created a Privy Counsellor and Knighted. Currently, he serves on a number of boards and has previous public company experience.  He is also currently Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.  Prior to commencing his business career Sir Hugo was a commissioned officer in the Grenadier Guards.


Michael Williams , aged 77 - Chief Executive Officer

Mr Williams is an entrepreneur with a successful track record of returning shareholder value through public listings and M&A strategies. In the early part of his career he held senior positions in the United States for several major software houses including HP and Altos Computers.  On his return to the UK, he was Head of European sales for Cognos Inc before taking over Fletcher Dennis plc in partnership with Hillsdown Holdings. In partnership with investors he took over Cifer Plc and negotiated the reverse takeover by the Ferrari Group Ltd in 1989. In the 1990s he was one of the founders of plc - one of the first companies to become active in the E-commerce market. This business went on to list on AIM and carry out a number of acquisitions including Pegusus Accounting (£52m) and Systems Union Group PLC (£32m). plc (renamed as Systems Union) was sold to Golden Gate Private Equity for $460m. In 2002, Williams decided to take a career break and concentrate on his personal investments in a number of retail focused businesses. In 2014 he decided to return to an active business role by founding the Company due to his interest in bee keeping. Williams was instrumental in raising the early stage capital for the Company and has been its main driving force since inception.


Alistair Wallace , aged 46 - Finance Director

Mr Wallace qualified as an accountant with ACCA in 2000 and then as a Chartered Tax Adviser with the CIOT in 2002. He set up BKB Accountants Ltd in 2005 and now employs 25 people at two sites in Poole and Wimborne.  Mr Wallace is one of the foundering shareholders of the Company and has been involved since its incorporation, providing accountancy services and support throughout.


Robert Porter-Smith , aged 63 - Executive Director

Mr Porter-Smith is a successful entrepreneur who has worked in and founded a number of B2C and B2B businesses.  In particular, he was instrumental in the growth of Natural Balance Foods which was sold for £60m in 2015 to the Belgium-based biscuit maker Lotus Bakeries. He currently runs D2F which he founded in 2003. It is a digital fulfilment company that provides e-commerce solutions, tailored incentive programmes and distribution services to health clubs, sporting bodies such as Lords, Harlequin FC and Essex County Cricket Club as well as multinationals such as Diageo and Castrol. He is also an investor in a number of businesses including Truestart Coffee, which distributes coffee and RTD coffee products.


Wafic Saϊd , aged 80 - Non-executive Director

Mr Saϊd is a businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chairman of the Saïd Foundation and the founding benefactor of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University. He started his career in 1963 as a banker at UBS in Geneva and in the early 1970s he founded a construction business that specialised in turnkey construction projects in Saudi Arabia. This business was involved in building airports, desalination plants, housing and hospitals in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and 1980s.  Since the 1980s, Saïd has focused on his investment and philanthropic activities.  In 1987 he founded Saïd Holdings Limited (SHL), a privately-held international investment company with assets in Europe, North America and the Far East, which is now the principal investment vehicle for the Saïd family interests. Saïd is a recipient of the Sheldon Medal, awarded by the University of Oxford, a Foundation Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford and a holder of the Grand Commandeur Ordre de Mérite du Cèdre of Lebanon and Ordre de Mérite of Morocco.


Philip Seers , aged 73 - Non-executive Director

Mr Seers was educated at Oundle School and Balliol College, Oxford. He joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1968 where he was principally involved in the Eurobond market. In 1982 he co-founded Phoenix Securities which provided corporate finance services to the financial sector and private equity investment management, focussed on mid-market UK companies. Phoenix was acquired by Morgan Grenfell in 1987: it continued to operate as a separate entity and was reacquired by the partners in 1990. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette acquired Phoenix Securities in 1997, as a platform for the development of its international corporate finance activities, and DLJ was itself acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000. Philip retired at this point and has since been a director of several large companies and an investor in early-stage companies.


Martin Riley , aged 65 - Independent Non-executive Director

Mr Riley was Chief Marketing Officer for the Pernod Ricard Group, the second biggest global spirits and wine company, until his retirement in 2015. He was President of the World Federation of Advertisers (2013/2015) - an international organisation based in Brussels which comprises major international companies and national advertising associations. He has an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Greenwich in recognition of his work with its business school. He is a board member of the Gin Guild and was Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers (a City of London Livery Company) in 2019. He has 40 years' global drinks market experience, speaks fluent French and has worked in France, Belgium, Russia and Ireland. 


"Sophie" Guifang Luo , aged 51 - Non-executive Director

Mrs Luo represents the Company's Chinese investors on the Board and is the Company's ambassador in China although she is based in the UK.  Since 2015 she has been the Managing Director of a group of Chinese nurseries that has a joint venture with Craigclowan Prep. She also has family interests in several Chinese businesses in Shaanxi province including a green tea plantation in Ziyang from whom the Company purchases tea and the Kaiyuan shopping mall in Ankang.


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