February 8, 2021
As Aquavape brand owner AQL International steps in to save the jobs – and brands – of Essex-based firm EOS, Aquavape’s Ebrahim Kathrada tells Vape Business why its good news for the UK’s vape retailers
VB: What about the EOS brand attracted the AQL International team?
EK: We were attracted by the established Vapemate and award-winning Ambience CBD brands which are sold through major high street retailers such as Boots and Holland & Barrett. The proposition was attractive as it complemented our existing portfolio and it now enables us to broaden our offering to our customers. We are hugely excited at the prospect of integrating EOS into our business as this will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.
VB: What opportunity does the EOS present under new ownership?
EK: As one of the biggest independent vape companies in the UK, we supply the likes of Asda, Sainsburys, Argos, COOP, NISA, SPAR and more. Aquavape has now secured a similarly positive future for the EOS business and its brands, enabling accelerated growth in online and convenience retail. The future is bright, and as we grow as a business, it is important for us to maintain our British heritage and uphold our ethos of supplying quality UK-made e-liquids. The Vapemate and Ambience CBD brands are a perfect fit as we look to extend this and, as further opportunities come our way, I am sure other acquisitions and mergers will happen in the foreseeable future.
VB: How soon will the stores you work with benefit from the purchase?
EK: Integration has begun almost immediately and our customers now have access to these exciting brands and, vice versa, Vapemate customers will also have access to new and exciting products from Aquavape. This is mutually beneficial to the two brands and to the vape community as a whole. It is about giving access to a broader portfolio of products, especially important at times like these where online shopping is at its peak.
VB: What plans do you have for the acquisition in the long term?
EK: There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation hard work and learning from failure. We will be implementing new strategies and ways of thinking ensuring continued growth within the sector.
VB: How important was it to be able to save the jobs at EOS as part of this deal?
EK: Of course, there is an ethical side to this and rescuing a business which had gone through some turbulent times and saving 21 jobs was also a key factor in our decision. We hope this buyout will not only give EOS a new lease of life but give the current employees the confidence that they are now supported and part of a larger group like Aquavape.