BrewDog says IPO ‘still on track for 2020’

BrewDog co-founders Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt

The co-founder of Aberdeenshire craft brewery BrewDog has told the Press Association that plans for an initial public offering (IPO) by the firm are still on track for 2020.

James Watt said BrewDog — valued at roughly £1 billion last year after selling a 22% stake to private equity — is considering an IPO in either the UK or the United States, with London the firm’s preference.

Watt said BrewDog has not been “put off” by recent IPO jitters sparked by the shaky flotations of Aston Martin and Funding Circle, which have seen shares tumble since going public.

Watt told PA: “For us, it’s a very different sector.

“We are working to schedule to at least be in a position to have the option to list some time in 2020, if market conditions are right.”

Watt told PA that with around 90,000 “equity punk investors” on board thanks to successful crowdfunding efforts, an IPO would be the natural next step.

“We see a long term IPO as an evolution of that model,” he said.

An IPO will also offer its crowdfunding retail investors the opportunity to cash in their investments.

“An IPO would give some long term liquidity for our equity punks,” Watt added.

But he said crowdfunding will remain “massively important to us”, with the group having just beaten its target for the fifth round of fundraising.

Watt said Brexit has brought uncertainty for BrewDog and its growing exports to European markets.

He said: “At the moment there’s all of this uncertainty, but there’s no short term way we can hedge against that.

“It would take a couple of years to build something in mainland Europe, so we’re just waiting to see what happens.”