New fund­ing for Perth on­line whisky house

Firm runs auc­tion sales of rare and valu­able whiskies over the in­ter­net

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - BUSINESS - GRA­HAM HUBAND BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR ghuband@the­courier.co.uk

An am­bi­tious Perth-based on­line whisky auc­tion house is scal­ing up af­ter se­cur­ing new fund­ing sup­port.

Founded in 2013 by Iain McClune, Whisky Auc­tion­eer has re­cently ac­quire date nancy for larger ware­hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties for its valu­able in­ven­tory of top-class whiskies.

The com­pany has now se­cured a £145,000 com­mer­cial mort­gage and on­go­ing sup­port from Bar­clays which will al­low it to ac­quire the new space out­right within 12 months of tak­ing on the ten­ancy.

The firm – which has grown to a work­force of 16 – ini­tially fo­cused on do­mes­tic Scot­tish whiskies but it has since di­ver­si­fied to re­flect buyer de­mand and has held auc­tions of Irish, Amer­i­can and Ja­panese whiskies.

Its lat­est auc­tion in June saw tens of thou­sands of pounds worth of whisky of­fered for sale, with a lim­ited edi­tion 1964 Black Bow­more in a pre­sen­ta­tion box achiev­ing £14,200 in the bid­ding.

In May, a case of vin­tage Ma­callan, dis­tilled in 1938 and bot­tled by Gor­don and Macphail in the late 1970s, re­alised £40,600, while a 1960 Karuizawa whisky sold at an­other auc­tion for more than £100,000.

Mr McClune – who started out in a two-room base­ment of­fice – hopes to con­tinue grow­ing the whisky busi­ness while also look­ing at other as­pects of the drinks in­dus­try.

He ap­proached Bar­clays re­la­tion­ship man­ager David Lough­lin to help sup­port his growth plans with the as­sis­tance of Bruce Ren­frew from Thorn­tons So­lic­i­tors.

“We found Bar­clays to be ex­tremely help­ful and sup­port­ive when we were first set­ting up the busi­ness,” Mr McClune said.

“Be­ing as­signed a re­la­tion­ship man­ager as a sin­gle point of con­tact to help with any queries ce­mented our re­la­tion­ship and I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing how we can progress the busi­ness even fur­ther to­gether.

“Whisky Auc­tion­eer aims to make the buy­ing and selling process as easy as pos­si­ble.

“Our am­bi­tion is to be­come the go-to re­source for whisky fans.”

The busi­ness is one of a num­ber that has ben­e­fited from Bar­clays’ £500 mil­lion Scot­tish SME (small and medium en­ter­prise) fund, which deals with com­pa­nies with turnover up to £25m.

Stu­art Brown, head of SME Scot­land at Bar­clays, said the bank was de­lighted to con­tinue to sup­port Whisky Auc­tion­eer in its growth jour­ney.

“Whisky Auc­tion­eer is a great ex­am­ple of how we can sup­port com­pa­nies through the scale-up stage.

“We were able to of­fer them a lo­cal re­la­tion­ship team who un­der­stood the busi­ness and helped make the most of the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the mar­ket­place.

“Iain is an en­tre­pre­neur who is pas­sion­ate about every as­pect of his busi­ness and this fund­ing will pro­vide a sta­ble base for fu­ture growth, both in terms of cus­tomers and staff.”

Pic­ture: Fraser Band.

Whisky Auc­tion­eer founder Iain McClune.

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