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Naked Wines Offering ‘Fine Wine Bonds’ to Raise 3 Million Pounds

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Naked Wines UK, which has invested more than 25 million pounds ($39 million) in independent winemakers since 2008, is planning to raise 3 million pounds by issuing what it calls the Naked Fine Wine Bond.

Investors can buy 500 to 10,000 pounds of the three-year securities, which will pay 7 percent annual gross interest in cash or 10 percent yearly wine credits, the Norwich, England-based company said in a statement on its website today. A 10 percent premium will be paid if investors choose to spend the original amount they invested on wine when the bond matures.

Naked Wines has invested in 43 independent winemakers since it was founded by 12 friends in 2008, according to the statement. It has more than 120,000 customers who pay 20 pounds per month to access wines at wholesale prices, including fine wines which take more than a year from the grape to the bottle.

“Ultimately fine wines require more time to mature, meaning we also need a longer-term source of funding in order to give the winemakers the financial assistance they need,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Rowan Gormley said in the statement. Gormley was formerly CEO of Virgin Money and Virgin Wines.

Naked Wines reported operating profit of 1 million pounds and a 57 percent increase in sales to 34.9 million pounds in 2012, according to the statement. The bond has a minimum subscription of 1 million pounds with a maximum of 5 million pounds, and will remain open for as long as four weeks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Savage in London at rsavage10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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