Didsbury Gin reveals new senior hires

Didsbury Gin, the premium gin which rose from Dragon’s Den fame to become a leading drinks brand, has made two senior appointments: Allan Beattie as finance director and Michael Saunders as non-executive director.

The appointments follow the news that domestic sales of Didsbury Gin had surpassed the £3 million mark and the Manchester-based spirits brand has partnered with the C&C Group to distribute its popular products in the UK.  

Beattie brings with him 40 years’ experience to the business. Having moved from his former role as Brockmans Gin Finance Director, he boasts well-honed knowledge of the financial sector (including the finance sector of the spirits industry), having previously been Head of Finance at Royal Bank Development Capital as well as having managed a start-up technology investment fund.

At Didsbury Gin, Beattie will be responsible for working with the founders to oversee the company’s financial strategy and accounting operations, ensuring long-term financial health and sustainability as the business embarks on period of rapid expansion.

Michael Saunders as non-executive director will be working alongside the founders and board to ensure high levels of corporate governance and extend the brand’s already fast growing industry reputation.

Saunders joined Bibendum Wine soon after it began in 1982 and he opened its first on-trade account way back in 1985.

He is now Bibendum Wine’s chief executive officer. Bibendum, a fully owned subsidiary of the C&C Group plc, includes supplier to independent merchant and wholesalers, Walker and Wodehouse and Bibendum off-trade, supplier to multiple grocers.

Bibendum Wine is one of the UK’s leading drinks distributors, supplying wine and spirits to restaurants, pubs and hotels across the UK. He currently Chairs the Wine and Spirits Trade Association; and was chairman of the Drinks Trust charity from 2019 to 2021.

Saunders said: “Didsbury Gin is a very dynamic business with a unique proposition. Despite being told they were late to market, Liam and Mark proved that a commitment to quality and a focus on innovation is key to success in the drinks industry. I’m delighted to become a part of such a forward-thinking and exciting business, alongside the founders who have such great energy and drive.”

Didsbury Gin co-founder, Liam Manton, says of the two appointments: “As we continue to be bold, daring and different, it’s crucial we tap into the top talent and expertise in the industry to allow us to do that. We’re delighted to welcome such talented individuals to the business and are excited to learn from the wealth of expertise and opportunities they bring with them. It is a very exciting time for the brand with huge opportunities for growth in the pipeline as a result of our new partnership with C&C group, so it’s fantastic to bring on two team members with such a wide breadth of industry experience to join us on this journey.”

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