Source - LSE Non-Regulatory
RNS Number : 0529A
Distil PLC
31 January 2022




Distil plc (AIM:DIS), owner of premium drinks brands RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin and vodka, TRØVE Botanical Vodka and Blavod Black Vodka, is pleased to announce that Distil non-executive director, Mike Keiller, has been appointed as the new chair of Distil-backed Ardgowan Distillery as it begins development of its new flagship eco-friendly distillery.


Keiller will begin his role on February 1, when he takes over from Willie Phillips who is standing down after four years at Ardgowan and nearly 50 years in the trade. Mike will continue with his role on the board of Distil following his appointment in June 2021 and will be integral in ensuring ongoing synergies between the companies.


Distil announced an investment of up to £5 million into the Ardgowan Distillery in July 2021. The investment is to include the build of a gin distillery on site to create a home for Blackwoods Gin, development of which is already underway, and access to Ardgowan's Master Whisky Maker, Max Macfarlane, to create a separate Distil whisky brand yet to be revealed.


Mike Keiller said: "It is exciting to be joining the Ardgowan Distillery as they seek to realise their vision of producing the highest quality malt whisky at their ground-breaking new distillery.


"I'm relishing the opportunity to work with Martin on the company's corporate strategy and to being part of a young, dynamic and fast-growing team of passionate whisky pioneers. I look forward to nurturing the ongoing partnership between Ardgowan and Distil as part of my new role."


Ardgowan Distillery CEO Martin McAdam said: "Mike is a fantastic guy and it's great to welcome him as our new chair as we enter a very exciting phase of our business. In the months ahead we will commence the build of our world-leading carbon negative distillery with the goal of producing the very finest premium malt whisky.


"Mike's industry experience in Scotland, the UK and internationally, and in particular his skills in building a global brand, will prove crucial as our production ramps up in the years to come."


Don Goulding, Executive Chairman at Distil plc, said: "We're delighted with Ardgowan's decision to appoint Mike as new chair as they enter the next stage of their development. Mike has extensive experience in the industry and has proved highly valuable to us at Distil since his appointment to the board last year. We welcome the news and look forward to further developing the relationship between Distil and Ardgowan over the coming months and years."


For further information:


Distil PLC

Don Goulding, Executive Chairman

Shaun Claydon, Finance Director


Tel: +44 203 283 4006

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited


Neil Baldwin

Mark Brady


Tel: +44 203 368 3550

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd


Andy Thacker

James Pope


Tel: +44 203 657 0050


About Distil 

Distil Plc is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. It owns drinks brands in a number of sectors of the alcoholic drinks market. These include premium spiced rum, vodka, gin, vodka vanilla cream liqueur and are called RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Vintage Gin, Blackwoods Vodka, TRØVE Botanical Vodka, Blavod Original Black Vodka, Diva Vodka and Jago's Vanilla Cream Liqueur.


In July 2021, Distil Plc. entered into a convertible loan note agreement for £5m which entitles Distil to convert to 14.28% of Ardgowan Distillery share capital. 


Roland Grain, who is a major shareholder in Distil and sits on the board of directors, has also invested £7.2m pounds into the Ardgowan Distillery, securing 51% of the shares in the company.


About Mike Keiller

Keiller is a Scottish chartered accountant whose early career began at Bell's Scotch Whisky in Perth, followed by senior finance and corporate roles at Guinness, United Distillers Europe and Diageo. Keiller joined Morrison Bowmore Distillers as CEO in 2000 and over the next 14 years he helped transform the business from a bulk whisky supplier into a profitable brand-led operation with globally acclaimed spirits including Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch.


After his retirement, he served as a non-executive director with The Last Drop Distillers from 2016 until 2018.


About Ardgowan Distillery Limited

Ardgowan Distillery Company Limited has full planning permission for the construction of an eco-friendly single malt whisky distillery, gin distillery and visitor centre on the historic Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip, 30 miles west of Glasgow. 


Ardgowan Distillery Limited has invested in world-class technologies to put sustainability at the heart of its plans and aims to be certified carbon negative by 2024. The distillery will begin production in 2023 with capacity to produce up to one million litres of premium whisky per year, and the combined facilities will create up to 47 new local jobs. 


The company is already bottling a range of award-winning blended malts under its Clydebuilt label as well as a series of ultra-limited edition single malts.


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