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Bowmark Capital, the mid-market private equity firm, has backed the buy-out of IWSR, the world’s leading source of data and intelligence for the $1.5 trillion alcoholic beverage market.

IWSR’s database tracks consumption trends across 30,000 brands and 157 countries. The company has over 200 blue chip customers representing all the major market participants including producers, ingredient manufacturers, investment banks and consultancies.

Brand globalisation, the growing complexity of distribution channels and the shift to premium products are all driving the increasing value of data and insights for market participants. IWSR’s database uses proprietary methodologies that aggregate and verify multiple non-public data sources, supported by a team of global analysts with significant local market expertise and industry contacts. The company’s data and insights help its customers understand channel, distribution and sales trends in all their core markets, providing key benefits in what is a high-value, complex and opaque supply chain.

Led by chief executive Mark Meek, IWSR is delivering annual revenue growth of 20% per annum, driven by expanding the coverage and functionality of its core database. It has also developed new products such as annual strategic consumer sentiment studies on topical issues including e-commerce, no-and-low alcohol drinks, and the impact of Covid-19. In conjunction with its strong organic growth, the company also recently completed the acquisition of Wine Intelligence, broadening its coverage of the wine sector.

Bowmark investment director Tom Elliott said: “We have tracked IWSR for several years and have been impressed by the evolution of the business under the leadership of Mark and his team. The business continues to capitalise on its unique position in a complex marketplace and has an exciting pipeline of new products to deliver additional value to its customers. We are delighted to be backing the company in its next stage of growth.”

Mark Meek commented: “I am delighted with the progress the business has made in the last few years. We are an ambitious team and are keen to work with Bowmark to continue to grow IWSR and expand the product portfolio and customer value proposition. As we got to know Bowmark, it became clear that they really understand our sector and can help us accelerate our growth.”