Media Release: US billionaire boys invest in BrewDog and launch Equity for Punks

LOVE the beer?… now you can own the company

BrewDog, the maverick British beer brand and one of the UK’s largest independent breweries, has today (Tuesday 20th October 2009) announced two real-life dragon investors from the US, whilst also launching Equity for Punks – an online equity raising method which has never been attempted before in the UK.

Through Equity for Punks, BrewDog, which brought us the UK’s strongest beer and also grew 250 per cent this year, has put 10,000 shares in their business up for grabs for only £230 each.

Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, two of the world’s most prolific drinks industry figures, who were jointly responsible for growing Skyy Vodka into a billion dollar brand before selling Skyy Spirits LLC to Campari 2007, have invested a minority stake in the Fraserburgh-based brewery and have joined BrewDog’s management team, with Greggor becoming a company director.

The duo’s key focus will be to help grow BrewDog PLC and particularly to increase sales and distribution in the USA which is already a key export market.

Speaking on his reasons for investing in a Scottish company, Keith Greggor, who has set up an import business in the US, The Griffin Group, said: “During our many years in beverage alcohol, we have only seen a few game-changing players come in fresh to the industry. BrewDog is one of them.”

In a ground-breaking and revolutionary business move, BrewDog is offering people the chance to own part of their fast-growing business by investing online via www.equityforpunks.com. The audacious move, and a first in Europe, gives people the chance to know what it feels like to own part of a brewery, buy their own beer in a shop and buy a round of their beer for their friends in a bar. Much more than an investment, people are buying into the BrewDog philosophy, vision and culture as shareholders will also have involvement in the running of the company and be allowed to vote online on key decisions.

The community of 10,000 investors to Equity for Punks will receive a lifetime 20% discount on beer at www.brewdog.com and a stake in one of the most ground-breaking, revolutionary and downright cool companies of our time. The £2.3m raised from Equity for Punks will provide the funding for BrewDog to build the world’s first carbon neutral eco-brewery in Aberdeen, a brewery which investors will own part of.

Never ones to shy from controversy, BrewDog has been on a mission to challenge people’s perceptions of what beer can do and its founders are pushing to think differently about the way they enjoy beer, most notably with the launch of the UK’s strongest beer at 18.2% ABV, Tokyo*, followed by the UK’s weakest beer, Nanny State, at 1.1%.

BrewDog founder, 26 year-old James Watt, who co-founded the company with business partner, Martin Dickie said: “Since we started brewing in April 2007 we have been an extremely high growth company and with our recent US investment our business is on the cusp of phenomenal global success – we wanted to create a community of 10,000 BrewDog loving individuals to share in our future growth and share in our vision for BrewDog.

“Our marketing strategy has always involved giving up control and shortening the distance as much as possible between ourselves and the people who drink our beers: Equity for Punks is the ultimate incarnation of this philosophy. Once the 10,000 shares are gone, they’re gone – so it’s a limited and unique opportunity to get involved.”

Speaking specifically on Equity for Punks, Greggor continued: “The whole craft beer movement is becoming a common global phenomenon, with no other beverage alcohol sector having such a committed involvement from its consumers. Equity for Punks provides a unique opportunity for those committed consumers to become part of the fabric of the industry. It goes well beyond the task of simply raising capital by developing a community of BrewDog beer lovers who become an army of BrewDog brand ambassadors. This community will thrive, as will the brand.”

And on a savvy investment choice during the current climate, Greggor expanded: “Coming out of the recession so many investors are disenchanted with their past institutional strategies, but Equity for Punks is so different, refreshing and tangible that for anyone remotely interested in good beer this will be their most fun investment in 2009. This is an extraordinary opportunity to participate in the success and future of BrewDog.”

n less than 18 months, BrewDog has grown to become argably Scotland’s largest independent brewery and one of the UK industry leaders – due to its fantastic reputation for the quality and innovation of its brewing. On track to turnover in excess of £1.6m in 2009, the brewery, which employs 27 staff members, has experienced 250 per cent growth on last year. BrewDog beers such as Punk IPA, 77 lager and Trashy Blonde are for sale in Tesco, Sainsbury’s ASDA and Oddbins and are available in 15 countries – export contracts have been awarded with American, Japanese, Canadian and European importers. Sweden and the US are BrewDog’s two biggest markets after the UK.

Commenting on the key to BrewDog’s success, Watt continued: “The BrewDog brand is the epitome of pure punk; edgy, bold, irreverent and uncompromising. The iconoclastic nature of our business has been one of the keys to our success so far and it will be a key driver for our future growth. In a tired, sleepy and traditional UK beer industry, we have created a brand which is vibrant, contemporary, dynamic and one with which drinkers can easily relate.

“For us, to have Keith and Tony, who have achieved so much in the industry, invest in our company is a great honour. We are delighted they recognise the potential which BrewDog has. Their input, knowledge and experience will provide a great platform for further strong growth.”

A full investment prospectus is downloadable at www.equityforpunks.com where you can also buy shares online.


Notes to editors:

Keith Greggor background:

In 1985, Keith Greggor moved from the UK to the US to work with Paddington (J&B, Bailey’s, Malibu) and led numerous brands highlighted by Bailey’s achieving its highest share and taking Malibu rum through its tipping point. Keith took over Skyy Spirits management in 1998. He increased value, turnover and profit more than tenfold. Keith’s interest in Skyy Spirits was acquired by Campari in 2007.

Keith then established the Griffin Group, LLC, to pursue and create opportunities within the drinks industry. In 2008 Keith’s long standing business associate Tony Foglio joined Griffin and together they acquired Preiss Imports, America’s premiere high end spirits specialist. While directing the strategies and growth of that enterprise, Griffin continues its ventures, most recently acquiring an interest in BrewDog Ltd, Scotland’s largest independent brewer in a move to develop their business in the US.

Tony Foglio background:

An industry veteran of 40 years, Tony began in the beer business. In 1993, he was elected president and CEO at Paddington. In 1997 IDV (now Diageo) consolidated into IDV North America with revenues in excess of $1bn naming Tony as president. Tony then became president and CEO of a new start-up Skyy Spirits in 1998. He led this small start up to phenomenal success. In 2008 Tony sold his interest to Campari. Tony is now returning to the beer industry through his stake in BrewDog and he remains one of the most well known and successful industry executives in the world today.

Issued 20th October 2009 on behalf of BrewDog (www.brewdog.com) by DADA

For more information contact:

Laura Mcilquham at DADA on 0141 222 2266/ 07946 715204 or laura@dada.co.uk

Toni Morrison at DADA on 0141 222 2266/ 07846 378 129 or toni.morrison@dada.co.uk

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Contact: Toni Morrison
Phone: 0141 222 2266
Email: toni.morrison@dada.co.uk
Website: http://www.dada.co.uk