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Brewer raises £2m towards brewery target

Beer fans opt for ‘beer bucks’ in Innis & Gunn bond issue

Dougal Sharp

Craft brewer Innis & Gunn has so far raised £2 million from its bond issue, with one in 10 investors spurning the 7.25% interest rate in favour of taking their return in beer.

The company is raising money through a crowdfunding exercise and it will be used to build a brewery in the Edinburgh area.

The “beer bucks” option on the bond pays the equivalent of a 9% return on a minimum £500 investment and is redeemable online at the Innis & Gunn shop.

Innis & Gunn is now well on its way towards reaching its target of £3 million which will enable it to bring brewing of its beers back home. They are currently produced at Tennent’s Wellpark brewery in Glasgow. The bond issue closes a week on Tuesday.

Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder and chief executive of the Edinburgh based company, said: “People have responded incredibly to the launch of the Bond. We knew that our fans and the craft beer community were enthusiastic to get involved, but we have been bowled over by the support it has received.

“The Bond has also resonated with those outside of the craft beer community. With interest rates on some savings accounts continuing to languish at as little as 0.1%, the 7.25% rate on the BeerBond has certainly raised some eyebrows.  We just hope that those who are considering an investment don’t leave it too late and miss out on the opportunity.”

Memery Crystal, the law firm advising UK companies, including Innis & Gunn, on mini-bonds, has seen its clients raise £40 million through such launches in the last 12 months, with more than four in 10 (43%) including either a non-cash or ‘reward’ element in their offer.

David Walker, corporate partner at Memery Crystal, said: “This form of fundraising increasingly allows companies to strengthen core relationships with consumers or fans, the level of take-up further demonstrating the versatility and appeal of such offers both to issuers and investors.”

Since its foundation in 2003, Innis & Gunn has grown to become a highly successful international business, with an annual turnover of £11.8m in 2014 – against £10.5m in 2013. Last year Innis & Gunn sold more than 20 million bottles of beer and is the second biggest supplier of craft beer to the UK off-trade.

The company’s plan to build a brewery was revealed by Daily Business earlier this year and it is in advanced negotiations to buy a piece of land in “South East Scotland”. It will create up to 35 jobs over the next four years.

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