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EIS Crowd 27 June 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 27/06/2021 |

Kent-based wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5.45m at 59.5p a share via Seedrs. A placing with directors and Michael Spencer raised £1.43m and Seedrs offer has already raised £6.45m. This has been achieved even though the current share price on the Aquis Stock Exchange is 56.5p (56p/57p). The crowdfunding offer final acceptance date is 23 July.
Chapel Down has shed its non-core interests. That includes brewer Curious Drinks, which was placed into administration and the business acquired by Risk Capital Partners, which was founded by Luke Johnson. Chapel Down offered small shareholders in Curious Drinks a share swap of 1.57 Chapel Down shares for each Curious Drinks share. In the 2020 accounts, there was a £6.68m write-down relating to Curious Drinks.
In 2020, Chapel Down increased its revenues from continuing operations by 32% from £10.1m to £13.3m in 2020, while wine volumes rose by 38%. The underlying pre-tax profit more than trebled from £308,000 to £955,000.
Net debt was £7.4m at the end of 2020. A new asset-based financing facility of up to £15m has been secured and it will refinance the current HSBC debt.
NAV was £23.5m at the end of 2020. As additional acreage is planted, and existing areas mature, this will increase the underlying value of the business.
Chapel Down has a 34.6% share of the off-trade market in English sparkling wine and a 41.1% share of the still wine market.
The wine maker wants to increase the scale of its winery so it can process more fruit and complete the planting of new acreage. Management also wants to improve the company’s e-commerce capabilities. An increasing proportion of sales are generated online with direct to consumer sales 18% of last year’s total.
There are 780 acres of planted vineyards with 549 acres currently productive. The rest will produce crops this year but will not reach maturity until 2023. Another 150 acres available for planting.
There is currently enough planted acreage to produce an average of 2.11 million bottles of wine each year, with potential to increase that to 2.51 million bottles.
A new report from Spinks and Beauhurst shows that technology companies continue to hire despite the uncertain economic landscape. The Tech Talent Index shows an average growth in technology start-ups’ headcount of 28%, although 17% of these companies reduced their headcounts.
The fastest growing sector is challenger banks. London headcount has grown by 37%, while in Scotland it has grown by 33%.
The figures include high growth technology companies that have filed accounts between January 2019 and March 2021. Two-thirds of start-up companies and the same proportion of scale-up companies (those achieving 10% plus growth for three consecutive years) have filed accounts in the period.
ENSO is developing a cleaner, sustainable tyres for electric vehicles. It has raised 96% of the £1.75m crowdfunding target on the Crowdcube platform. The cash is being raised through a convertible issue. The increased weight of electric vehicles means that tyres wear out faster. The plan is for a pay per mile model. So far, £2m has been invested in development and the first tyres should be delivered to electric vehicle manufacturers in Europe by the end of this year. There are plans to expand in California next year.
Cornish Lithium has raised £6m from a crowdfunding via Crowdcube, where more than 1,000 investors contributed. That follows previous cash calls via the same platform. The lithium explorer is developing the Trevalour project in Cornwall. Following a test, Cornish Lithium has secured an exclusive licence to use Lepidico’s processing technology in the St Austell region. A JORC resource for Trevalour is being defined.

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