Naked offers bond options

09 September, 2013

Gormley: longer-term funding

Online retailer Naked Wines is offering investors the chance to buy fine wine bonds to raise £3 million to invest in winemakers.

The bonds will pay 7% per annum interest in cash or 10% in credits to buy wine from the company.

They will mature after three years at which point holders can choose to have the value of their original investment repaid in cash or receive an additional 10% premium by having money credited to a Naked Wines account to spend on wine.

They can also opt to keep receiving interest and exercise redemption options each year after.

The minimum investment is £500 and the maximum £10,000.

The bond issue is open for four weeks though the company may scale back applications if a maximum total subscription limit of £5 million is reached. Chief executive Rowan Gormley said: “Ultimately, fine wines require more time to mature, meaning we also need a longer-term source of funding to give the winemakers the financial assistance they need.

“Doing it this way means the winemakers can focus on what we want them to do – make great wines – rather than spend their time and money selling.”

Naked defines fine wines as those needing more than a year from vine to table.

The bonds are the latest scheme to raise investment cash by Naked, whose main model involves “angel” customers investing £20 per month in winemakers in return for discounts on any wine produced.

Naked has also secured a £6.4 million investment from German direct wine retailer WIV Wein International to fund a further sales push into the US and Australia.

Around a third of the company’s annual sales of 10 million bottles to 150,000 customers are in those markets.

This is the third cash injection from the German firm, which has already invested £9 million in Naked.

Naked turned its first profit – of £1 million – in 2012 and said annual revenue had since increased by 57%.

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