Hellyers Road is opening to public investment for the first time

April 18, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Hellyers Road, owner of approximately 90% of Australian whisky over 18 years old, has announced that it will be giving Australians and whisky drinkers the opportunity to buy shares in the business for the first time in its 27 year history. 

The whisky distillery is hoping to raise $4.8 million through the one-off crowdfunded equity raise, which will be conducted next month via the OnMarket platform. 

“We are different to many other companies that go down the crowd fundraising route in that we’re a well-established business with a strong asset base and a highly successful brand in Hellyers Road,” said CEO Derek Charge. 

“We decided that offering whisky lovers and other Australians the opportunity to join our existing 138 shareholders would create a much wider, passionate group of ambassadors for our whisky, and at the same time significantly increase the liquidity in our shares. Most of our existing shareholders are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation descendants of our original founders who invested in us back in 1997.”

Hellyers Road, which started in 1997 as a diversification strategy for a successful dairy cooperative, has maintained its original business model of investing heavily in the ageing of large volumes of whisky.

“We estimate that we have approximately 90% of all whisky in Australia aged 18 years or older,” said Charge.  

“That forms part of our total bond store of more than 5,700 full-sized barrels of whisky spanning 22 years. This is backed by a modern high-capacity distillery, high speed bottling line, cellar door and restaurant with a replacement value well in excess of $20 million.

“We are probably about a decade ahead of our competitors in terms of being able to supply quality aged whisky in such volumes,” he said. 

The targeted $4.8 million capital raise set by Hellyers Road will be used to help the distillery continue to lay down more stock for long-term ageing over the coming years.

“We are offering whisky lovers and other Australians the opportunity to share in our potential future growth,” said Charge.

“Using the same conservative valuation methodology our ageing stock will double in value from $49 million today to circa $100 million in 2026, and that is taking into account our planned draw down of volume of sales in that period. The volumes of premium aged whisky we have reaching maturity increase significantly each year for the next ten years and we are confident this will drive a significant increase in the value of our balance sheet.”

According to data released at the end of the third quarter of FY24, Hellyers Road has net assets totalling $18 million and a debt totalling $4.2 million. Hellyers Road investor material also showed that revenue in the 9 months up to the end of March 2024 was $6.1 million, a drastic 91% increase over the most recent prior comparable period. 

A large part of its success is attributable to its strong performance overseas. Currently, Hellyers Road exports to markets in North America, Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore and has received significant global accolades such as becoming Australia’s most awarded distillery at the 2024 World Whiskies Awards, where it received four Best Australian titles. 

Hellyers Road is accepting expressions of interest via OnMarket now, with the offer opening publicly from 7-27 May. To register for early access or to learn more, visit this link.

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