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Craft gin maker British Honey Company set to enter administration

Craft gin maker The British Honey Company set to enter administration after failing to secure funding

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

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

The British Honey Company, a UK based producer of honey and craft spirits, is set to fall into administration after failing to secure long-term funding and find a buyer.  

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

BHC, which has its headquarters in Oxfordshire and employs around 80 people at its factory in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, was founded in 2014 initially as a honey producer, before expanding into honey infused spirits, including gin and rum. 

The firm secured a loan for £750,000 in December, but warned the cash would only support its ‘near term working capital requirements’ and would therefore require further funding ‘early’ this year. 

‘At that time the Board made clear that further funding would need to be secured early this year, which the company has attempted to identify since this date, but it has proved extremely challenging, with no offer of funding support being forthcoming to date,’ it told investors today.

‘Significant costs savings have been made in the business in order to conserve cash. Notwithstanding these cost savings, BHC will require further funding by end of March 2023, based on current management forecasts. 

‘Regrettably, the board has concluded that it is required to take the necessary steps to preserve value for creditors.’

In a trading update in January, the company said sales in the second half of 2022 had been impacted by the squeeze on consumer spending and it expected to report revenues of £6million for the full year, down from £8million in 2021. 

The sales slowdown follows a BHC acquisition spree in recent years. 

In 2020 it bought the brands of the London Distillery Company, which include 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 as its clients.