The Better Drinks Co, formerly known as Charlie's Group, has received a capital injection from its parent company Asahi in an apparent debt for equity swap.

The move comes amid another financial loss for the company, which the Japanese drinks giant bought in 2011 through a $129 million takeover.

Financial statements posted on the Companies Office show The Better Drinks Co made total revenue of $28 million in the year to December 31, 2018, down from $31m recorded a year earlier. Its net loss was $5.1m following on from a $4m loss in 2017.

Notes to the accounts show the company's share capital increased from $49m to $96.3m, with the additional $47.3m coming in the form of new shares issued to Asahi.


At the same time related party debt shrunk from $51.6m in 2017 to $5.89m. A note to the accounts said this was due to loan and interest repayments via equity.

The new capital has boosted total equity to $20.8m having dropped to negative $21.3m at the December 2017 balance date.

The Herald contacted the company in January to discuss the number of shares held by Asahi but it did not respond to queries.

It hasn't been as easy ride for Asahi since acquiring the business.

In 2016 the Better Drinks Co took a $42.3 million impairment to write off all of its goodwill on brands that include Charlie's, Phoenix, Juicy Lucy Ti Tonics, Real Iced Tea and Stash Tea.

The company has accumulated losses of $75.48m.

When Asahi bought Charlie's it paid a 57 per cent premium to the company's stock price before the deal was announced in July 2011.

The sale netted co-founders Marc Ellis and Stefan Lepionka just over $18m each.


Around the same time it bought Charlie's in 2011, Asahi also agreed to buy Independent Liquor Group for $1.5 billion from shareholders including buyout firms Pacific Equity Partners, Unitas Capital and the widow of company founder Michael Erceg.

It ended up getting a $209 million settlement after suing the vendors of Independent, claiming its performance had been inflated.