Lord Sugar buys 45 per cent of Cannock tonic water company
Lord Sugar has become a director of a Cannock company that makes a brand of tonic waters using natural honey.
The star of BBC show The Apprentice has taken a sweet 45 per cent shareholding in Buzbee's Beverages which is based at Rumer Hill Business Estate, Rumer Hill Road.
He has made the move into the tonic water industry through his Essex-based investment firm Amsvest, which helps businesses grow by offering finance and dedicated expertise in areas such as IT or human resources.
Buzbee’s Beverages, formed in June last year, uses 100 per cent natural honey to create its flavoured tonic water range. It also makes ginger ale.
The company, which currently employs four people and is looking to increase that to six shortly, has its products bottled by Holden's Bottling Company in Woodsetton.
Lord Sugar said: “At Amsvest we are always looking for new, exciting businesses to invest in that are different from others in the market; Buzbee’s Beverages is exactly that.
“Providing the drinks market with a new healthy alternative to water, with an emphasis on sustainability, this is an exciting new brand that we are looking forward to developing over the coming months.
“We are confident we will be able to help them develop as a business and build their brand in a market where there is definitely an appetite for an alternative offer.”
Buzbee’s Beverages is growing on the back of rising demand for gin and tonic.
Mark Busby, the 47-year-old managing director of Buzbee’s Beverages, approached Amsvest to seek investment in his fledgling business and took the company's van down to London to meet Lord Sugar.
Great Barr-born Mr Busby, who lives in Clayhanger, Walsall, said: “We are really excited to announce our investment from Amsvest and Lord Sugar, who will be helping us to fund Buzbee's next stage of growth.
"We are really passionate about our products and what they stand for and we are confident that with Lord Sugar’s investment, this will enable our business to continue to grow, becoming a well-known healthy alternative in the drinks market.
"We're looking forward to this next stage of the business, especially with Lord Sugar and his team at Amsvest being able to provide great support to Buzbee's."
Buzbee's is looking to build up customers and is working with honey producers in the UK, including one in the Cannock area, to source its honey in future.
Among Amsvest's previously investments are a cruelty-free beauty company Tropic and Sweets in the City, a company producing sweet gifts in personalised packaging.