Craft gin maker British Honey Company set to enter administration

Craft gin maker The British Honey Company went into administration after failing to secure financing

  • Firm behind Keepr’s and Two Birds brands said shares have been suspended
  • In December it warned a £750,000 loan would only last until ‘early’ this year
  • It made £8 million in sales in 2021, but that would have dropped to £6 million by 2022

The British Honey Company, a UK-based producer of honey and craft spirits, is about to go into receivership after failing to secure long-term financing and find a buyer.

Shares in the company behind the Keepr’s and Two Birds brands were suspended from the Aquis exchange on Tuesday pending the appointment of trustees at FRP Advisory.

Headquartered in Oxfordshire and employing around 80 people at its factory in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, BHC was initially established in 2014 as a honey producer, before expanding into honey-infused spirits including gin and rum.

BHC was founded in 2014 as a honey producer, before expanding into honey-infused spirits

The company secured a £750,000 loan in December, but warned the money would only support ‘short-term working capital requirements’ and would therefore need further funding ‘early’ this year.

“At the time, the board made it clear that further funding would be needed early this year, which the company has been trying to identify since this date, but it has proved extremely challenging as there has been no offer of funding support to date,” it told investors today .

‘Significant cost savings have been implemented in the company to save money. Despite these cost savings, BHC will require further funding by the end of March 2023, based on current management projections.

“Unfortunately, the board has concluded that it is necessary to take the necessary actions to preserve value for creditors.”

The company added that a number of discussions are underway with interested parties that may or may not lead to a sale of all or part of the company.

This follows the announcement of a strategic refocus last October, including a potential sale, with multiple parties expressing interest.

In a January trading update, the company said sales in the second half of 2022 had been impacted by consumer spending pressures and expected full-year sales of £6m, up from £8m in 2021.

The slowdown in turnover follows a wave of acquisitions in recent years.

In 2020, it purchased the London Distillery Company brands including Dodd’s Organic Gin, London Distillery Rye and Single Malt Whisky.

In 2021, it completed the acquisition of Leicestershire-based Union Distillers, an independent producer and distributor of its own label brands and white label spirits, which counts some major supermarkets among its customers.