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Loch Lomond Group under new ownership

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An Asia-based investment firm is buying out Loch Lomond Group, which owns Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown as well as the Littlemill single malt brand.

Loch Lomond barrel
New owner: Loch Lomond Group’s Scotch whisky operations are now owned by Hillhouse

Hillhouse Capital Management, a global investment management firm, will acquire the Scotch whisky producer from current owner Exponent for an undisclosed sum.

The deal includes the sale of the Loch Lomond malt and grain distillery at Alexandria in Dunbartonshire, Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown, a bottling plant in Catrine, Ayrshire plus the remaining stocks of closed distillery Littlemill.

Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, said the buyout would enable to company to grow further internationally, particularly in Asia.

He said: ‘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.’

Loch Lomond has been under the ownership of UK-based private equity management firm Exponent since 2014, when it was acquired from the Bulloch family.

Diverse portfolio: Loch Lomond Group also owns Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown

In the last five years Loch Lomond’s business has grown internationally, with overseas markets now representing 70% of the business, as opposed to less than 10% in 2014.

Wei Cao, partner at Hillhouse Capital, said: ‘Loch Lomond’s rich heritage in Scotch whisky gives the business a distinct advantage as they look to further build on their success across the world, especially in the increasingly discerning Asian spirits market.

‘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.’

As well as the Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia and Littlemill whiskies, the group also produces the High Commissioner blend, as well as Glen’s vodka and Ben Lomond gin.

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