Trio take 70pc stake in Shott
Syrup maker Shott plans to double production within the next two years and increase exports with capital from a trio of Wellington investors who have taken a majority stake.
Founded by juice industry veterans Tami and Simon Louisson and Richard Plimmer in 2006, Shott makes more than a million bottles of unpasteurised coffee and fruit syrups, smoothie bases and cocktail mixers a year at its Lower Hutt factory.
A 70 per cent stake has been bought for an undisclosed sum by Beverage Holdings, a consortium of investors Andrew Meehan, Brent Wootton and Paul Collins who previously worked together at Masterpet, which Meehan was chairman of for nine years before it was sold to Ebos.
Shott chief executive Tami Louisson, who previously ran Wellington's Nectar Juices, said Shott had been approached by many companies wanting to take it over but Beverage Holdings shared its long- term goals.
Australia makes up about 8 per cent of its market and is growing rapidly. Shott's hot fruit drinks such as lemon, ginger & honey; spiced berry; and honey blackcurrant, which are made with New Zealand honey and fruits, are popular in the Asian markets, including South Korea and Singapore.
"We are expanding our Korean operation, we're going to put a salesperson there and we are looking at Canada, working with NZTE [New Zealand Trade and Enterprise].
"We like countries with a cold climate when it's not cold here," Louisson said.
"Our sales are very strong in winter. In Australia we are doing well in Brisbane but this winter we're going to launch strongly in to Melbourne."
Shott's coffee syrups, which all recently became Fair Trade certified to increase their appeal to companies that use Fair Trade coffee, should do well in Melbourne, she said.
"We are also looking at the UK which will take a bit longer, and Taiwan. We will be expanding our factory and expect double production in the next few years, or hopefully sooner."
Meehan, who said he believed the brand had all the attributes to be successful globally, will chair Shott's board.
Shott supplies more than half of the 5000 cafes New Zealand and has turnover of $5 million.
It makes Chai Latte flavouring and its popular winter beverage, lemon, ginger & honey drink syrup, which is sold in supermarkets and pharmacies, makes up about 40 per cent of sales.
The brand was featured in Deloitte's Fast 50 in 2010 and last year.