Chase said his new potato vodka business Chase Distillery was the deal driver and he wanted to focus his energies on making it an even bigger success. "Something I thought would take 20%-30% of my time is taking up all of it now, especially with exports taking off," he said.
Langholm is believed to have paid £30m for a majority stake in April 2008, pledging to double Tyrrells' £13m sales in two years by investing millions to upgrade its Herefordshire facilities and boost capacity.
Tyrrells' turnover totalled £19m in the year to 31 March and chief executive David Milner said growth was running at 32% annually, stressing there would be no change to the day-to-day running of the business. Staff headcount was up from 80 to 110 in the past two years and the company was "on track" to achieve £26-£28m this financial year, he added. Growth had been driven by greater sales with current listings and increased distribution through new contracts with Morrisons and The Co-operative Group.
Milner, the former boss of Kettle Chips Australia who joined in March to drive overseas expansion, said exports were now an even bigger focus.
Tyrrells' French retail business totals £6m, up over 100% year-on-year. It plans to grow in the US and Germany and is on the verge of expanding into Holland, Switzerland and Italy. Design agency Big Fish is working on a brand refresh in February 2011.