Oxfordshire’s British Honey completes purchase of Union Distillers

British Honey

Honey, spirits and sanitiser producer, The British Honey Company plc, based at Worminghall between Oxford and Aylesbury, has completed its purchase of Leicestershire-based Union Distillers Limited.

Launched in 2014, The British Honey Company has a growing collection of award-winning spirits brands crafted at its onsite distillery. Its range began with Keepr’s British Honey Spirits infused with pure honey from its apiaries and includes gin, rum, bourbon, vodka and a ready to drink selection of hard seltzers and a low alcohol gin and tonic.

The company owns more than 275 hives, and sources honey only from bee farmers accredited by The Bee Farmers’ Association.

In 2020 it acquires the brands of the London Distillery Company (Dodd’s Organic Gin, Rye and Single Malt Whiskeys), securing a partnership agreement with English Heritage to produce its gins and launching an affordable luxury spirits range, 1606. In the same year, BHC also developed its first alcohol sanitiser product in the UK in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The British Honey Company plans to open a second distillery on Oxfordshire’s Tusmore Estate, expected late 2021, where it will produce a Tusmore Single Estate Triple Distilled Premium English Whiskey to add to its Single Malt Tusmore Whiskey.

With the acquisition of Union Distillers, British Honey aims to create a multi-category brand portfolio and plans to install a new canning line and boost production at Union Distillers. The combined capacity will enable the production of three million bottles, seven million cans and fine million miniatures this year.

British Honey has welcomed Union Distiller’s founder and CEO Mark Gamble to its board as a result of the acquisition.

Mr Gamble, aged 68, has more than 40 years’ experience in managing businesses. He was managing director of Orangeade Limited, a designer and manufacturer of early GPRS tracking equipment. Mr Gamble successfully sold Orangeade in 2016 to focus his attention on Union. Mr Gamble and the Union team have worked with BHC on mutual development projects and joint-ventures over a number of years.

Philip Seers is to step down as Non-Executive Chairman of the Company, a role that was always intended to be temporary. He will, however, remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director, assuming the role of Board Representative of Mr Khaled Said, one of the Company’s principal shareholders.

Michael Williams, currently Chief Executive Officer of BHC, will step up to the role of Interim Executive Chairman, following Philip Seer’s announced intention to step down.

Michael said: “The Board would like to thank Philip for his longstanding support and his contribution to the Company as Chairman and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity”.