Brewery takes equity to the crowd

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 09:45 06/08/2014
Pollard Park duck pond
CHLOE WINTER/FAIRFAX NZ

RENAISSANCE MEN: Renaissance Brewing head brewer Andy Deuchars, left, and development manager Roger Kerrison hope that, by using equity crowdfunding, they will be able to export more craft beer and expand their brewery

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Marlborough's Renaissance Brewing hope to raise up to $700,000 through equity crowdfunding when its campaign goes live next week.

The firm will offer 350,000 shares, or 12.28 per cent of the company, through equity crowdfunding platform The Snowball Effect, which aims to help New Zealand businesses by raising growth capital through sales of very small share lots to many people.

Renaissance Brewery development manager Roger Kerrison said it was "pretty likely" Renaissance would be the first company in the country to raise money through the platform.

Starting on Monday, the company would first offer shares to pre-registered investors. On Wednesday, the opportunity would be offered to the public, Kerrison said.

"Around 400 people have already shown interest. They won't all necessarily invest but we are giving them the first right of refusal.

"It's not just they get to buy shares in the brewery, they also get additional benefits like free beer, access to limited releases and discounts on beer," Kerrison said.

"We will be live for a month and we would like it to be fully subscribed. We are hoping it will happen quite quickly."

The company's existing six shareholders, who include head brewer Andy Deuchars, chief executive officer Brian Thiel and Kerrison, would retain 87.72 per cent of the company.

They planned to use the investment to expand their Blenheim brewery and venture into more overseas markets, Kerrison said.

Renaissance exports to eight countries and hoped to break into the Scandinavian, Japanese, and UK markets, he said.

It was forecasting turnover to double to $3m by 2017, he said.

The company had recently taken on a new operations manager, Richie Green, and would look at employing extra bottling and kegging staff as it grew.

The company was a member of the Marlborough Research Centre's Food and Beverage Innovation Cluster, and hoped the equity crowdfunding venture would provide value to the region.

"We feel that diversifying Marlborough's food and beverage offering will bring real benefits to the region in terms of synergies between producers, as well as the potential tourism benefits.

"As hugely important as wine is, it's great that Marlborough has other exciting offerings such as seafood, honey, garlic, saffron and, of course, our beer."

THE OFFER

Equity: 300,000-350,000 shares at $2 per ordinary share

Offer valuation: $5 million Funding target: $600,000-$700,000

Minimum investment: $500

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- The Marlborough Express

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