British drinks brand sells shares in response to “demand from big investors”

Posted on Tuesday August 1, 2017

The co-founder of premium drinks brand Fever-Tree has sold a significant stake in the company for £29 million, in a move he claims responded to demand from big investors.

It takes former advertising executive Tim Warrillow’s shares of the company to 5.4 per cent.

His partner, Charles Rolls, sold a quarter of his own shares in May, banking some £73 million in the process.

The firm, famed for its luxury tonic water, ginger beer, and lemonade drinks, has seen its share price rise by more than 1,000 per cent since 2014. In early trading on Wednesday the shares were priced at £21.40 valuing the company at £2.4 billion.

Fever-Tree said its export operations have grown rapidly, with now over 50 per cent of its revenue coming from outside the UK.

A spokesman said: “There remains considerable demand from institutions both in UK and US for sizeable blocks of Fever-Tree shares and therefore Tim took the decision to provide some further liquidity in the register in response to this.”

Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “Fever-Tree will have to continue to grow at this clip to justify the valuations [and] maintaining this level of growth in the UK will be tough as this market could deteriorate over the next couple of years if there is a hit to consumer spending from inflation and any Brexit-related slowdown.”

The company is named after the cinchona trees (colloquially called fever trees) found in the Democratic Republic of Congo which produce the quinine used in the tonic water.