San Francisco, CA – (November 4, 2013) – Demeter Group, the M&A investment bank for growth consumer retail companies, today announced that it has advised Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine®, the leading distiller of premium moonshine in the U.S., on securing a significant equity investment from private investment firm Centerview Capital.
The new capital will allow Ole Smoky to further accelerate growth. Founded in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee by Joe Baker, Cory Cottongim and Tony Breeden, Ole Smoky has already experienced rapid growth since launching in 2010, fueled by consumer interest in the broader un-aged whiskey category. Its moonshine products, originally sold only to visitors of its Tennessee distillery, are now available in 49 states and Canada. Earlier this year Ole Smoky quadrupled its bottling capacity to keep up with rising demand with the addition of a nearby 20,000-sq. ft. facility. The founders continue to build the distillery and the brand to reach more consumers through advertising, partnerships and sponsorships, which include those with NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“The story of moonshine embodies the American spirit and is a fundamental part of our heritage here in East Tennessee. Rebellious, resourceful and fiercely independent, our families honed the craft of making fine whiskey more than a century ago in the Smoky Mountains,” said Joe Baker, Chairman of Ole Smoky. “Tony, Cory and I are excited about this investment and the opportunity to work with Centerview to introduce even more folks to an authentic, Appalachian spirit that my family has enjoyed for generations.”
Ole Smoky’s CEO, John Cochran, added, “All of us are passionate about the company and our expanding line of authentic moonshine products. We have a lot of great plans to grow the business and are thrilled to have additional capital to accelerate that growth.”
Jim Kilts and David Hooper, Centerview Capital’s co-founders, said, “Ole Smoky’s products have broad adult appeal and benefit from important long-term spirits trends, such as increased consumer interest in craft distilling and flavored spirits, and also from a strong interest in products with deep American heritage. When you consider this in conjunction with the chance to work closely with the company’s founders and a truly talented management team, the merits of this investment speak for themselves.”
Demeter Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ole Smoky. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine®
Ole Smoky is leading distiller of premium moonshine in the United States and the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee. The company’s roots can be traced to the early settlers of the Smoky Mountains where they refined the art of whiskey making in order to survive during tough economic times. When Tennessee state law changed in 2009, allowing the licensed production of whiskey and other spirits across new counties, a group of local families saw an opportunity to showcase the art of superior, mountain-made moonshine.
Its line of authentic products are made from family recipes passed down through generations by inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains region of Appalachia. Products currently include Original Moonshine™, White Lightnin’™, Moonshine Cherries™, Peach Moonshine™, Apple Pie Moonshine™, Blackberry Moonshine™, Strawberry Moonshine™ and Lemon Drop Moonshine™. Ole Smoky is available at retail and on-premise in 49 states and Canada. For more information, visit www.olesmokymoonshine.com. Follow Ole Smoky onFacebook and Twitter @OleSmoky.
About Centerview Capital
Centerview Capital is a private investment firm that provides capital to high potential companies. Centerview Capital’s consumer fund is based in Greenwich, CT and is focused exclusively on making investments in the U.S. consumer industry. With approximately $500 million in committed capital, Centerview seeks to leverage its operational expertise and deep consumer industry relationships in partnership with existing owners and management to achieve strategic and operational excellence. Centerview’s other consumer investments include The Nielsen Company, Del Monte Foods and Richelieu Foods. Centerview Capital also operates a technology fund based in San Francisco, CA. More information about the firm is available atwww.centerviewcapital.com.