Halewood Wines and Spirits explores sale options

Halewood group CEO Stewart Hainsworth confirmed the company has appointed Rothschild bank to assist in the potential sale

Halewood group CEO Stewart Hainsworth confirmed the company has appointed Rothschild bank to assist in the potential sale

Halewood Wines and Spirits has confirmed that its owners are investigating a sale of the company.

Stewart Hainsworth, group CEO at Halewood, said today management is exploring a potential sale that media reports at the weekend claimed could net the family behind the company GBP200m (US$271m). “I can confirm that Rothschild has been appointed to explore strategic options for the shareholders of Halewood,” Hainsworth said. 

The Sunday Times first reported the potential sale, citing people close to the matter. Halewood is controlled by Judy Halewood, who took over as chairwoman from her partner and company founder John Halewood when he died in 2011, aged 64.

Today, Hainsworth said that Halewood’s success has been fuelled recently by its premium spirits portfolio, which has been expanded in the past few years by the acquisition of stakes in companies including Sadler’s Brewing Co, Hawkshead Brewery, West Cork Distillers and Liverpool Gin. Last month, it sold off its Romanian wine business to domestic spirits firm Alexandrion Group. The company is best known for higher-volume brands Lambrini and Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

“Our discussions with Rothschild are a natural progression of the new strategy I brought to the business,” Hainsworth said.

In a note yesterday, analysts at Societe Generale cast doubt on the appeal of the Halewood portfolio. The note said C&C Group could emerge as a buyer for the Crabbie’s brand but that the rest of the portfolio “is unlikely to be of interest to the other major players”.

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