Liquid Asset Brands

Chicago, IL
Investment Amount: $5,000,000
Consumer Products
Investment Date: June, 2016
"When the opportunity arose to purchase a significant amount of aged American whiskey, we had a very short period of time to close on the transaction. We approached CapX Partners because we knew that they were creative and flexible and would understand the value of the asset being financed. We were able to get to a term sheet in a week and close within 30 days on a $7m transaction."Marc Bushala, Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Asset Brands

Company Background

Liquid Asset Brands ("LAB") is a product and brand development and management platform for new spirits brands, spearheaded by its founder and CEO, Marc Bushala. His goal: to build and invest in innovative beverage businesses globally.

Bushala and his partners led the development of the renowned craft Kentucky bourbon brand, Angel’s Envy, ranked  "Best Spirit in the World” by Spirit Journal in 2013. After the sale of Angel’s Envy in 2015 to a strategic buyer, LAB partnered with Spirits Investment Partners LLC (“SIP”) for investment in and management of early-stage beverage businesses that LAB could help accelerate the growth and profitability of the portfolio brands.

CapX first met Liquid Asset Brands on the Angel’s Envy project. The company was in the process of acquiring real estate in downtown Louisville, transforming two older warehouses into a distilling and packaging, warehouse and customer experience center at the foot of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

LAB and SIP’s most recent investment involves the development of a new spirits brand utilizing premium aged whiskey. The company’s ability to leverage key assets attracted LAB to CapX.

Investment Opportunity & CapX Solution

While discussing the new whiskey project with LAB & SIP, CapX learned that the nascent stage of the brand could be problematic for commercial banks to provide credit support.  While the project did not require any fixed asset financing, an important and timely capital raise was needed to procure aged barreled spirits that will be ultimately finished and bottled for distribution. After researching the supply and demand of the whiskey market, CapX determined that a patient, multi-year loan could be offered. This would allow LAB to not have to call for additional fund capital and instead, focus more on the creation and ultimate launch of their newest brand.

“After getting to know LAB and Marc Bushala on a previous project, CapX became comfortable quickly with the sponsor’s expertise and ability to scale a business.  While the LAB opportunity did not ‘squarely fit the CapX box,’ we found a way to help a new client quickly capitalize on an important business addition and move to the next key stage of their business growth."Jeffry S. Pfeffer, Managing Partner at CapX Partners