Non-alcoholic spirits giant Lyre’s has brought in an investment banking specialist to lead fundraising efforts and target M&A opportunities to boost its global growth.

The group, which calls itself “the world’s leading non-alcoholic spirits brand” has appointed former Citigroup and Credit Suisse investment banker Roscoe Roman as chief investment officer.

He will be primarily tasked with managing the next major private growth capital raise in 2022, anticipated to be the largest in the low & no-alcohol spirits category. This will build on the £20m round completed in November 2021, which valued the business at £270m.

Lyre’s will target capital from new and existing investors to leverage the group’s sales footprint, which is currently across 63 countries, boost growth within established markets, and capitalise on its first-mover advantage in key regions such as the Middle East, Far East and Asia Minor.

Over the longer term he will be charged with leading its “inorganic growth strategy” – targeting external opportunities created by its global presence, distribution relationships, e-commerce capabilities, production breadth and product development capabilities.

He will also establish investor relations and shareholder reporting functions for the group’s shareholder base, which includes Morgan Creek Capital Management and D Squared Capital.

Roman was most recently a director at Citigroup leading client coverage, among other sectors, in ingredients and industrials, and managing the bank’s relationship with Lyre’s.

Prior to Citigroup, he worked at Credit Suisse in London, before moving to alternative asset manager Apollo Global Management, where he was responsible for a range of investments.

“Having worked with Lyre’s at Citigroup, Roscoe knows our business extremely well, so we’re thrilled he’s decided to make the leap from investment banking to help us consolidate our position as the leader in this fast-growing consumer category,” said Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO.

“Roscoe has exactly the expertise required to help drive the next phase of growth and ultimately support our mission of building our business to be a global leader in the beverage sector.”

Roman added: “I have no doubt that Lyre’s is the premier platform for addressing the rapidly growing demand for healthier, great tasting, sophisticated adult beverages.

“Lyre’s is the only truly global player within the category capable of providing customers with genuinely enjoyable alternatives to alcoholic beverages at home and in bars and restaurants. My conviction is supported by my decision to become a meaningful shareholder of Lyre’s.”

In December 2021 Livings told The Grocer the brand is on track to be the fastest independent beverage brand to reach ‘unicorn’ status of a $1bn valuation.