Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co has acquired the Pontville Distillery from the Kernke Family Shene Estate as it accelerates its export strategy.
The $40 million deal is comprised of $38.5 million in cash and $1.5 million in Lark shares. In order to fund the acquisition, Lark is undertaking an equity raising of approximately $53 million.
The iconic estate and distillery are located 30 minutes north of Hobart at Pontville and include 40 acres of land and buildings, a 130,000 litre distillery, a cellar door, eight bond stores, a working cooperage and the historic stables and homestead.
Pontville will be Lark’s third working distillery in Tasmania, alongside its Cambridge and Bothwell sites and will contribute to the inhouse production of 576,000 litres of Lark whisky each year. Lark at Pontville will commence distilling from February 2022 with its cellar door open to the public from this date. All whisky distilling, product innovation and development will continue to be led by Lark’s Master Distiller Chris Thomson (pictured above with Bill Lark) and his team.
In addition, Lark has commenced planning for the construction of a new 1 million litre greenfield distillery on the Pontville site, expected to be commissioned in 2023.
“Today we are incredibly excited to announce the next chapter in the Lark Distilling Co story,” Lark said.
“As we enter our 30th year in 2022, the acquisition of the historic Pontville Distillery and Cooperage just 30 minutes from Hobart heralds a new dawn for Lark, for Tasmanian whisky and our pursuit for continuous improvement as one of the world’s most innovative distilleries.
“Founder and Australia’s godfather of whisky Bill Lark saw the opportunity back in 1989 to produce a rich, local single malt whisky in pristine Tasmanian conditions and Lark at Pontville will ensure Bill’s vision continues to reach more people here in Australia and around the world.
“Today we say thank you to Bill, Lyn, and to the incredible team we’re proud to call family as we all raise a glass to the future of Lark.”