FRP team secures strategic sale of Curious Drinks
Tuesday April 27, 2021
England’s leading winemaker divests itself of craft beer and cider offering
We are pleased to have advised England’s leading winemaker, Chapel Down Group, on its recent sale of Curious Drinks, its craft beer and cider business, to Risk Capital Partners (RCP).
The deal sees RCP acquire the business and its assets, which include the Curious Beer and Cider brands and the Curious Brewery production facility, with its on-site bar and restaurant, in Ashford, Kent. Our Corporate Finance team, led by Partner Matthew Flower, was appointed by Chapel Down to seek a new investor for the Curious Drinks business.
We subsequently secured the sale of Curious Drinks to RCP via a pre-pack administration, which was managed by our Restructuring Advisory team – led by Partner, Geoff Rowley and Directors, Simon Baggs and Justin Matthews.
Employing 20 people and with an annual turnover of over £4 million, the Kent firm won UK Brewery of the Year in 2019. However, with a traditionally hospitality-focused go to market strategy, its sales have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
The sale will enable Chapel Down to focus on its fast-growing wine and spirits business which, by contrast, has grown revenues by more than a third in the past 12 months.
Through its extensive experience in the hospitality sector, the new leadership of RCP is expected to fulfil Curious Drinks’ significant growth potential as the hospitality industry returns to strength, and the international craft beer market continues to grow.
Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down Group, said: “Going forward, we are now able to focus all our energy and resources to build on the exciting growth we enjoyed in 2020 of our core Chapel Down brand which we believe will be able to flourish further. Whilst the decision to leave brewing has been a difficult decision, we are extremely pleased to have found in Risk Capital Partners an excellent home for Curious Drinks where the business will be able to realise its full potential post-COVID.”
Matthew Flower, Partner at FRP, said: “As has been the case for many businesses in the hospitality sector, the last year has been a difficult one for Curious Drinks. However, craft beer remains incredibly popular and the market is expected to continue growing in the future. With the hospitality market already seeing high demand in the early days of re-opening, we’re looking forward to seeing both the Chapel Down and Curious Drinks businesses flourish under their respective stewardships.”
The craft beer market remains incredibly popular and is expected to continue growing in the future.Matthew Flower Corporate Finance