Former recruitment bosses buy Cheltenham rum brand

Neptune Rum

A Cheltenham rum brand has been snapped up by two former Gloucestershire recruitment bosses after it went into administration.

Neptune Rum was most recently recognised as the worlds’ most awarded rum of 2018/19, winning Best British rum brand and best Barbados rum. Incorporated 2016, the brand has won more than 65 global awards since 2018.

Bristol-based specialist corporate finance advisory firm Shaw & Co, advised on the deal.

Neptune had ambitious growth plans for the future, including securing world-wide travel retail distribution. But, as with many other businesses, the COVID-19 crisis jeopardized these projects, causing the business to go into administration.

New owners James Strickland and his business partner Raymond Pugh purchased the business and its assets from the administrator, Reading-based KRE Corporate Recovery. The new owners, who sold their Gloucestershire-based recruitment business Passionate About People, in a multi million deal managed by Shaw & Co, to Nottinghamshire-based Staffline in 2018, have ambitious plans for the business, including significant investment. The objective is to enable Neptune Rum to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, and to resume its growth plans.

Shaw & Co’s Managing Director Jim Shaw served as the lead negotiator in the deal.

Jim said: “We have had an excellent business relationship with James and Raymond having assisted them in the sale of their previous business. When they approached us with the opportunity to purchase Neptune Rum, we were very pleased to help James and Raymond grasp this next challenge.

“We are very happy with the outcome. For James and Raymond this represents the start of a new chapter and for Neptune Rum it gives a platform the future, which was otherwise looking in doubt. The brand is international, but with headquarters in Cheltenham the deal maintains vibrancy in the local economy.”

James Strickland added: “Neptune Rum is an iconic British brand, having won over 65 global awards since 2018, and has had great successes in the recent years, most particularly in 2018/19. It was an excellent business opportunity for both Raymond and I. Of course, this is only the first step; much work is still required to secure the long-term future of the company.

“We would like to thank Jim and all his team at Shaw & Co for all their help, how they worked alongside John Workman at BPE Solicitors, their positivity, and their great level of professionalism shown throughout the whole process.”

Paul Ellison, Partner and the lead Administrator from KRE Corporate Recovery concluded: “There was considerable interest in this brand with over 65 interested parties and then several bidders at the end of the process. James and Raymond were impressive in their determination and I wish them every success in taking the brand forward.”