London-based Renegade Spirits has received a £5m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to develop a major whiskey distillery in Ireland.
The funding will be used along with a €14.4m (£12.1m) facility from Ulster Bank to continue development and production of single malt whiskey at Renegade's Waterford Distillery in Ireland.
The BGF, the UK's most active investor which focuses on growing small and mid-sized businesses, is taking a minority stake in Renegade and will have a seat on the board. The group has backed 175 companies to date, but this is its first foray into the Republic of Ireland.
Mark Reynier, co-founder of Renegade said: “[BGF's] patient, minority investment approach fits well with our own growth plans and we are looking forward to working with the team.
"With over 110 distilleries, the Scotch whisky market is 10 times the size of the Irish market. The market is clearly attractive for a new, high-quality brand with a clear proposition."
The BGF was keen to back the "credible and ambitious" team at Renegade, according to Andy Gregory, the firm's regional director. He added the BGF is looking to expand further in Ireland.
He said: "To date, our expansion has been focused on the UK – where we have now nine offices, and have backed more than 175 companies with more than £1.2bn – but we have always known that there would be a role for BGF’s equity capital in Ireland’s entrepreneurial community."