English sparkling wine producer aims to raise £3 million to ramp up production

24 March, 2015

English sparkling wine producer Hambledon Vineyard aims to raise £3 million in a crowdfunding retail bond to increase production as it bids to sell 200,000 bottles a year by 2020.

The Hampshire producer is using London-based crowdfunding platform Crowdbnk, and aims to raise enough money to produce a lot more than 200,000 bottles a year so it can age its wines.

Owner Ian Kellett, who bought Hambledon Vineyard in 1999 because of its consistent chalk terroir on southeast-facing slopes, said: “Our aim is simple - selling Englishness to the world in the form of an eventual 1 million bottles per annum of highest quality English fizz, from England’s oldest commercial vineyard and the birthplace of cricket. We believe that Hambledon has the terroir, the potential for brand leadership, and the team to produce the finest brand of English sparkling wine and to become world renowned.

“Crowdfunding our mini bond is important to us so that we might share our journey with as many people as we can - the minimum investment is £1,600. We wanted to work with a partner that understood our ambition and Crowbnk, with its strong mix of investor types, was the perfect fit."

The convertible mini bond structure offers a return of 8% per year in cash, rolled up into a 40% interest payment after five years, plus Hambledon Classic Cuvée rewards, and is secured on the company’s assets, ranking ahead of the shareholders that have already invested and after £1.5million of senior debt.

At maturity, convertible bondholders will have the option to convert into equity at £2.20 share and become equity shareholders in the vineyard.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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