Business Growth Fund backs Arran Aromatics with £2.8m growth capital

Backing of Scottish luxury toiletries manufacturer marks sixth investment north of border for fund

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) announced today it has invested £2.8m of growth capital into leading Scottish luxury toiletries producer Arran Aromatics.

The backing will be used to increase Arran’s portfolio of retail stores from 10 to 14 in the next few weeks and increase brand development as well as to fund the launch of a new e-commerce website, launching next month.

Founded in 1998 by Janet and Iain Russell, Isle of Arran-based Arran Aromatics designs, manufactures and distributes luxury toiletries, lifestyle products and gifts made from locally-sourced materials.

The family-owned business’ fortunes have fluctuated over the last 10 years; in 2009, Arran Aromatics was rescued from the brink of administration by businessman and turnaround specialist Iain Pittman.

The BGF investment is the culmination of several months’ work with Arran Aromatics to establish growth strategies. As part of the deal, international retail expert and former Body Shop EMEA head of operations Alastair Kerr will replace Iain Pittman as the company’s new chairman.

It marks the sixth Scottish investment for the privately-owned fund, which is backed by five of the UK’s high street banks, and takes the total invested in the region to £26.9m.

Iain Pittman, outgoing chairman of Arran Aromatics, said: “Everyone working at Arran Aromatics is deeply passionate about the brand and incredibly proud of its global recognition.

“After the hard work by all of our employees over the past four years, there is a new confidence in the business.”

BGF investment director Duncan Macrae, who is set to join Arran Aromatics, said: “Iain and the team at Arran Aromatics have done a tremendous job in stabilising the business and positioning it for growth.  The company’s heritage, quality product offering and strong work ethic have created a very attractive investment proposition for BGF.

“The brand has broad consumer and trade appeal with extensive international opportunities and with appropriate investment and support, the company can maximise its inherent potential.  The appointment of Alastair to work alongside Iain and his management team is hugely exciting for all those involved in the business.”

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