GlenAllachie Distillers secures £30m loan from Clydesdale Bank

The GlenAllachie Distillers Co. Limited has secured a £30 million asset-based lending package from Clydesdale Bank, thanks to support from the new Scottish arm of Belfast-based finance specialists HNH.

The award-winning whisky company appointed Bruce Walker, director of HNH’s Edinburgh team, to lead the refinancing exercise. The Scottish office of HNH was established last year to advise SMEs and family-owned firms during mergers & acquisitions, debt and transaction services.

HNH advised GlenAllachie on securing an inventory only asset-based debt facility on a committed basis for a four-year period on significantly improved terms. Clydesdale Bank Plc was selected to provide the facility on a bilateral basis following a competitive tendering process, which was developed and manged by HNH.

GlenAllachie, winners of the Distillery of the Year Award at The Scottish Whisky Awards, will use the facility to fund working capital and capital expenditure as it continues to develop its brand around the world.

The GlenAllachie distillery, which is located near Aberlour in the heart of the world-renowned Speyside region, and a significant volume of mature whisky was bought from Chivas by Billy Walker and his team in 2017.

The business has quickly earned a reputation as a producer of premium single malt whisky. Its award-winning current products include GlenAllachie’s core range of aged single malts and the richly peated blended malt, MacNair’s Lum Reek. The White Heather brand is also owned by GlenAllachie, and will be relaunched in May of this year.

Billy Walker, the managing director of GlenAllachie, said: “This new debt facility will enable us to continue our journey at the pace we want and further develop GlenAllachie as a premium single malt brand around the world.”

Bruce Walker from HNH, added: “This deal is a great result for GlenAllachie, and the outcome of a competitive process led locally by the HNH team. We were delighted to work with such a high-quality asset with an outstanding management team with a crystal clear strategic vision. It was also good to work again with Clydesdale Bank Plc who were able to deliver a compelling proposal based on their clear understanding of the sector and strong existing relationship with the GlenAllachie team. Appetite for the credit was strong reflecting the strength of both the business and the whisky market more widely.”

Alan Gilchrist, the finance director of GlenAllachie, said: “HNH’s clear understanding of the debt markets, ABL product and current lender appetite was key in securing our new facilities in the required timeframe. We were very pleased with the way Bruce and Fiona King of HNH managed the process and left us to continue running the business. The input we received from HNH was invaluable in securing our deal. Asset-based lending is ideal for us as it provides highly flexible funds secured against our appreciating whisky stocks.

“Clydesdale Bank Plc demonstrated an assured and mature approach to the deal process. They maintained momentum to ensure delivery to timetable and a deep knowledge of the Scotch whisky sector to create a straightforward solution from a clear requirement.”

David Hunter, director, asset based lending with Clydesdale Bank Plc, Glasgow, commented: “We are looking forward to working with the management team at GlenAllachie and are delighted to be able support them through such an exciting stage of their business.”