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Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP 

June, 2019 - Edinburgh, Scotland



Shepherd and Wedderburn Advise on Loch Lomond Distillery Group acquisition


A multi-disciplinary Shepherd and Wedderburn team completed the acquisition of the Loch Lomond Distillery Group (LLG) on behalf of new Chinese private equity firm, Hillhouse Capital Management, Ltd.

Hillhouse again approached Shepherd and Wedderburn to act on the transaction, having previously been interested in a smaller distillery last autumn, though LLG is a significantly larger transaction. The price is confidential but very substantial.

LLG is the owner of four substantial properties, including large distilleries (producing grain, malt, and white spirits) at Alexandria; the Glen Scotia malt distillery at Campbeltown, which has been operating since 1832; a large bottling plant at Glen Catrine, Ayrshire; and bonded warehouse facilities at Hurllford in Ayrshire.

LLG is also the headline drinks sponsor of The Open Championship, with our clients the R&A, who are delighted with the tie-up. Their main whisky brands are Littlemill, Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond (malts) and High Commissioners (Blend). Their main white spirit is Glen’s Vodka, the biggest seller by far in the volume vodka market.

The Shepherd and Wedderburn food and drink team were approached given their expertise in whisky and excise matters, and Hillhouse and the US law firm representing them on the funding recognised that we were best placed to perform the whole due diligence rather than just the purely Scottish aspects.

A team comprising George Frier, Joanna Boag-Thomson, Judith Stephenson, and Pat Hawthorn led on the complex advice for their respective fields, with stellar support from Corin Metcalfe, Deborah Allan, Joseph Fitzgibbon, Pamela Binnie, Ely Crichton, Rebecca Nicholson, Amie Bain, Blair Melville, Kevin Clancy and Lauren Thomson.

The client was impressed by our grasp of the myriad complex issues and the team’s dedicated support in what was a very tight timescale.


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