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Renegade Spirits ventures to Grenada with BGF backing

BGF News 08.08.2018

BGF has provided £1.9m of funding to the team behind Waterford Distillery as they embark on a new rum project in Grenada.  The ambition behind Renegade Rum is a simple one: to distil and mature the most profound rum the world has ever seen.

BGF’s funding will be used to support the building of a rum distillery on the island, the first new cane-specific distillery in the West Indies in over a decade. Drawing on experience from both the Scotch and Irish whisky and wine worlds, the new-build Renegade Rum Distillery and cane mill will be modern, efficient and environmentally sound to use exclusively sugar cane propagated over the last three years.

The ethos of the project closely mirrors the model of Renegade’s whiskey project in Waterford, which focuses on provenance, traceability, and the environment.  Using the latest techniques and equipment, together with an innovative, industry-challenging philosophy, the team believe this landmark rum project will ‘raise the bar’ worldwide.

BGF first backed Renegade in April 2017 with a £5m investment to support the continued development and production of single malt whisky at Waterford Distillery. During the past year, production has continued apace, with more than 1m litres of stock being distilled annually.

Before establishing Renegade, its founders, Mark Reynier, John Adams and Sir John Mactaggart acquired the disused Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay off the West Coast of Scotland in 2002. They rebuilt the distillery and brand, before selling the business to Remy Cointreau in 2012 for £58m.

Set up in 2011, BGF has become the UK’s most active investor for entrepreneurs and growing businesses. BGF launched in Ireland in November 2017 with more than €250 million dedicated to investing in Irish SMEs.

Mark Reynier of Renegade said: “Rum is one world’s largest spirits categories but the production of super premium rum has lagged behind that of single malt whisky. Our projects in Ireland and Grenada will be complementary and will provide some fantastic opportunities as we build our wider team. We are making exciting steps forward but the process of distilling these spirits requires patience, which makes BGF’s long-term approach the perfect match for Renegade.”

BGF Investor David Gammie, who is part of BGF’s Dublin-based team covering the Republic of Ireland, said: “This investment is an opportunity to increase our support for the Renegade team as they put in place the foundations for extending the Renegade platform and brand beyond the shores of Ireland. Mark, John and John have the knowledge, expertise and contacts to take on this visionary project which we’re delighted to back.”