THE Edinburgh-based company which owns The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has debuted on the stock exchange.

The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC) had a market capitalisation of nearly £78 million when its shares were admitted to the junior Aim market this morning, based on the offer price of £1.12 per ordinary share.

Gross proceeds of £15m were raised for the company and £11m was generated for certain selling shareholders with the float. Members of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) invested £2.64m under an over-subscribed members’ offer (restricted to UK members), with new chairman Mark Hunter making a personal investment of £1m.

The funds raised from the flotation will be used to invest in whisky, other spirits stock, and cask wood, and to promote membership and business growth, ASC said. Investment in existing and new venues is also on the agenda, alongside brand and digital development, and supply chain optimisation.

The Society has around 28,000 paying subscribers in more than 30 international markets.

Managing director David Ridley said: “The successful fundraise and move onto the public markets, which gave our loyal and discerning members the opportunity to become shareholders, is an exciting landmark for both ASC and SMWS. Our members are at the heart of everything we do, and we believe our status on AIM will enable us to access the capital required to bring them an even wider variety of premium, limited edition whiskies, spirits and inspiring experiences. 

“ASC is a distinctive, fast growth, direct to consumer online business with high barriers to entry, operating in an industry with strong tailwinds. With a clear vision for the future, we believe our company is at a significant inflection point in its development, and are thrilled by the prospect of sharing our success with our new shareholders.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team as well as our members, suppliers and investors for their support over the years. They have made ASC and SMWS what they are today and I look forward to moving into this exciting new chapter in our story with them all.”