I visited SB a few weeks ago and remember them saying they had 31 employees - thats quite a bit for any distillery (at least from the ones I visited thus far). That combined with rising commodity prices may have caused the man. to look at this as the right time to move to an automated, computerized system. And if production has merely decreased and not stopped completely, then im not sure what the big deal is about. Theyre reorganizing, optimizing, hiring cheap labor from the US, installing solar panels, who knows.
Assuming SB is still selling the same volume of goods, have an excellent credit rating, and are well positioned for the growing whisky market, they would be in a very good position to renegotiate the covenants on their current short/long term loans. So "cash flow problem" as a blanket issue is not going to cut it - they could solve that with debt restructuring. Maybe "fiscally responsible" is more realistic - they dont like to gamble with more/longer debt. Its a family business, right?
And even if SB has an issue with debt, why would they say anything about it, or try to explain the nature of the situation? Theyre private - they dont need to explain their business strategy/business challenge to anyone, especially those who would be pleased with their demise.
Perhaps Im too naive and like to think SB doesnt feel the need to spin up some crap just to keep the old men on the balcony quiet. A toast to the old men on the balcony, for their sarcasm always leaves me smiling!