Legal advice adds fizz to fundraising

8 September, 2014
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The market leader in English wines is set for fresh growth following the launch of a major crowdfunding initiative.


Tenterden-based Chapel Down Group aims to attract up to €5m in what is believed to be the first time a quoted company in the UK has used crowdfunding to reach investors.


The award-winning wine and beer producer, whose shares trade on ISDX, worked with solicitors Cripps in developing the proposals, which allow wine lovers to share in Chapel Down’s success.


“This is a very smart move by Chapel Down and just the sort of step you would expect from the most innovative brand in English wine production,” said Salim Somjee, who worked with Phil Cunningham, partner, and Helen Garner, associate, as part of the Cripps team advising Chapel Down.


“Not only is it an efficient method of raising money to invest in new capacity but it also offers an easy way for people with a passion for good quality wine to take a direct interest in a company that leads the way in English wine production.


“It is also equitable as all investors – whether individuals, management or big institutions –will pay exactly the same price for the shares being offered.”


The money raised will be used by Chapel Down to plant more vines, build a new winery, brewery and visitor attraction, and extend its hospitality facility in Tenterden.


Chief Executive Officer Frazer Thompson added: “We have leading brands – Chapel Down in wine and Curious in beer and cider – that we want to grow.


“This requires more money. We’d rather get that money from people who care – people who want to see our company flourish and grow and can help us spread the word about the quality of our produce.


“When we were looking for our legal partners for such a new endeavour, we wanted City excellence, Kent prices and people we knew were up for the challenge. People who really understood the brief and who we could trust. That was Cripps.”