Premium tonic producer valued at £48m after selling stake to LDC

Fever-Tree set for international drive after selling a ‘significant minority stake’

The founders of premium mixer drinks producer Fever-Tree have sold a stake in the company to private equity house Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), which sees the firm valued at £48m.

Co-founded by Tom Warrillow and Charles Rolls, who previously sold spirit company Plymouth Gin to Absolut Vodka, Fever-Tree sells its quality range of tonic water, ginger beer and bitter lemon to both top of the range venues such as Claridges, Hakassan and the Ritz and supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Incorporated in 2004, Fever-Tree has built its reputation for premium tonic water on sourcing vital ingredients from all over the world, including key constituent quinine from one of the most dangerous and remote parts of the world – Eastern Congo, which Warrillow has said is protected by those toting AK47s.

Naturally produced in the bark of the cinchona tree and known for its fever-reducing qualities, the tonic’s provenance helped to give the company its name, with other flavours coming from Sicilian lemons, Tanzanian bitter oranges, herbs from Provence in France, and ginger from the Ivory Coast and Cochin.

Since launch in 2005, the drinks company has grown quickly and now distributes to over 35 countries worldwide, with deals most recently signed in Japan, Germany and Colombia.

Following the deal, which sees Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm take a ‘significant minority stake’ in the company, £16.2m-turnover Fever-Tree is hoping to accelerate its plans to expand into the US.

Having experienced a revenue growth of 60% over the past three years, co-founder Charles Rolls hopes to continue the growth drive of the company.

He said: “What is exciting about this business is the international potential. Wherever premium spirits are served, Fever-Tree has a market. Wherever premium spirits are called for, Fever-Tree should be called for too. That’s the task for the next years.”

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