Eastern European drinks company Stock Spirits Group is to invest up to €18 million in the owner of a Dublin distillery and two whiskey brands.
Quintessential Brands, which owns the company behind Dublin Liberties and the Dubliner Irish Whiskey, has agreed to the investment in return for a 25 per cent equity interest in the firm.
British-based Quintessential bought the Irish business last year and announced plans for a new whiskey distillery and visitor experience in the Liberties area of Dublin.
As part of a total €28 million investment in the company announced on Monday, a new €10 million banking facility has separately been completed with Wells Fargo Bank.
Stock Spirits is a London-listed group that owns and makes vodka, brandy and other drinks that are principally sold in central and Eastern Europe. Its main operations are in the Czech Republic, Poland and Italy. Stock earned €40 million profits last year on sales of €261 million.
Its investment in Dublin Whiskey comprises an initial €15 million in cash plus a further deferred cash consideration over a five-year period for the 25 per cent equity interest.
Quintessential said it will use the money primarily to complete the construction and fit out of the Dublin Liberties Distillery on Mill Street in Dublin 8. It originally planned to open the distillery this year, but delays in the work have postponed that to summer 2018. Construction started in January.
Quintessential will accelerate advertising and promotional investment in the brands.
Dublin Liberties and the Dubliner Irish Whiskey products sold more than 32,000 cases in 30 countries in the 12 months to March 2017.
Ex investment banker Warren Stcott and former Campari chief executive, Enzo Vizone, founded Quintessential in 2011. Its brands include Feeney's Irish Cream, O'Mara's Country Cream, Brogan's Irish Cream and O'Casey's Irish Cream, which sell about 700,000 cases in 50 countries.
It employs 51 people in the Republic. Mr Scott said the company has developed "great traction" in more than 30 markets.
“This investment and partnership with Stock Spirits comes at the beginning of a very exciting next phase in the development for our Irish whiskies,” he said.
Mr Scott confirmed the Dublin Liberties Distillery will employ up to 15 people when fully operational, while up to 40 people are involved in its design and construction.
Stock Spirits chief executive Mirek Stachowicz said he could see "significant potential" for the brands globally, including in its core markets of Poland and the Czech Republic.