Halewood International, the drinks manufacturer and distributor, has announced that its founder and chief executive John Halewood has died, aged 64. He founded the company in 1978 and saw it grow to a turnover of £250m, employing more than 1,500 people worldwide. The firm now handles well-known brands across a number of drinks categories, including Lambrini, Lamb’s Navy Rum, Tsingtao Chinese Beer, Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Red Square Vodka and Reloaded. Halewood managing director Andy Smallman said: “I am sure that I speak for all of his colleagues when I say that John will be greatly missed. “For over 30 years John was the inspirational and entrepreneurial force behind the Halewood International group. The Halewood International Holdings Plc board will continue to ensure that this pioneering spirit and drive remains at the heart of the way we do business. On behalf of the board and staff, I would like to thank our customers and suppliers for their ongoing support. “At this time all our thoughts are with his family and friends to whom we have sent our heartfelt condolences.”