HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 27 July 2021 - Rare Whisky Holdings, a whisky investment group managed out of Hong Kong has bought a 49% stake of the online whisky auction site, Whisky Hammer, and its sister ecommerce business Still Spirit, paving the way for global expansion of the family run Scottish business.
Li Hau TAN and Rickesh Kishnani, co-founders of Rare Whisky Holdings
Rickesh Kishnani, co-founder of Rare Whisky Holdings is the entrepreneur behind the successful Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, the first private equity fund in the world to focus on rare single-malt whiskies. The Platinum Whisky Fund originally launched in 2014 in Hong Kong, raised USD 12 million and is in the final stage of its wind down, exiting at over USD 24 million.
Rare Whisky Holdings also owns The Glenor Cask Company, which holds over 1,000 casks of maturing Scotch whisky from a range of top distillery brands.
Private whisky cask ownership has grown in popularity in the past two years, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore, with many private clients choosing to buy a cask of whisky from a special vintage to store for the long term or to have their own private bottling to use for gifting.
The multi-million-dollar investment and partnership will provide registered members of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit exclusive access to a full range of cask opportunities.
Whisky Hammer was started in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside in Scotland, famous for the production of single malt whiskies such as The Macallan, Glenlivet, and Balvenie.
Whisky Hammer hosts monthly online auctions, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, drawing customers from every corner of the globe. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.
A recent feature included the 31-Year-Old Black Bowmore 'DB5' collaboration with Aston Martin, distilled in 1964 and sold for a hammer price of £81,000 in March 2021.
The customer base of Whisky Hammer is an extensive global network of whisky enthusiasts who buy and sell on the platform, resulting in a 70% growth in revenue in 2020. One main driver of this growth has been customers from Asia, growing by 64% annually, with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan leading the way.
Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit - a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste while overlooking the beautiful Scottish countryside. Rare Whisky Holdings will be providing Asian customers with customized VIP whisky trips to Scotland starting in 2022.
Rickesh Kishnani, Co-Founder of Rare Whisky Holdings commented "Our investment group is proud to join the Milne family business and help with their expansion to Asia, where the demand for whisky continues to grow at a rapid pace. We are also excited to use this new partnership to provide Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit members with exclusive access to our collection of aged casks."
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit said: "This is a very exciting time for our business. The transaction signifies an important bond with our new partner that will rapidly bring the group a much larger presence across Asia as well as exclusive access to casks for our members."
Legal support was provided for the transaction by Goodwin Proctor LLP (acting on behalf of the buyer) and Brodies LLP (acting on behalf of the sellers).