LDC has invested in Cuts Ice, the leading UK manufacturer and distributor of e-liquid for the independent vaping sector.
The investment, which sees LDC become a minority shareholder in the business, will help to accelerate the company’s UK and international growth strategy.
Cuts Ice, founded by entrepreneur Nigel Quine in 2011, has grown quickly to become a leading manufacturer of own label and white label e-liquids for use in tank-based devices and cartomisers. It supplies many leading vaping brands and wholesalers in the sector.
In just four years, the business has grown annual sales to £11m. Its success has been driven by a commitment to quality-led manufacturing – based at its certified clean room facilities in Wembley – strong regulatory compliance, reliability of supply and innovation in flavours and formats. It has also followed an export-led sales strategy, having already established a significant presence in key markets such as Germany and Italy.
The vaping market is currently estimated to be worth £1.6bn in the UK, France and Germany, with a compound annual growth rate of 55% from 2010-2015, and is expected to continue growing at double digit rates through to 2021. In the UK alone, there are an estimated 3m people using e-cigarettes.
Following the investment, Nigel Quine, who is also deputy chairman of the Independent British Vape Trade Association industry body, will remain CEO, with additional members of the management team also becoming shareholders.
Nigel Quine, CEO of Cuts Ice, said: “Vaping has evolved enormously as a sector in recent years - socially, scientifically and commercially. Its effectiveness as a smoking cessation product is now well understood and endorsed by leading voices in public health. The new EU-wide regulatory framework has also legitimised its role in the harm reduction strategies of progressive governments such as the UK and France. Against this backdrop, the growth potential in those markets is well proven, particularly for players like us with a differentiated model and a focus on quality, innovation and technical ability.
“Partnering with LDC enables us to accelerate investment in our infrastructure, from our manufacturing facilities to our sales and support teams. It also gives us the opportunity to align the interests of the senior team around our long-term ambition for the business through collective ownership, whilst bringing a new, experienced partner around the table to add strategic and operational support. This is a hugely important milestone in our development as a business and we’re excited about the potential it creates, both in the UK and overseas.”