Blog: Hotel Chocolat's "chocolate bond"
Dean Best | 24 May 2010
Companies asking shareholders or members for funds for expansion is nothing new - but returns are not often paid in chocolate.
Upmarket UK chocolate chain Hotel Chocolat has set out its stall for expansion at home and abroad - and aims to fuel that expansion through the issue of "chocolate bonds".
Hotel Chocolat is looking to open more stores in the UK and in Europe, expand its manufacturing site in the UK, as well as invest in its plantation in St Lucia.
The company is aiming to raise GBP5m (US$7.2m) to fund its plans and, in what it claims is a UK first, has launched a "chocolate bond" available to its "chocolate tasting club" members.
Those members can invest GBP2,000 or GBP4,000 with a gross annual return of 6.72% or 7.29%. The difference is in the return, which will be paid in chocolate.
"We have ambitious plans for the future and, when it came to considering the funding of these plans, we decided to think somewhat differently," says Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO of the Hotel Chocolat family of companies.
"Rather than borrow in the traditional way and pay interest to a big bank, we would much prefer to provide a return to our customers – in chocolate – through a chocolate bond."
Hotel Chocolat surveyed its members before launching the bond and insists it is "delighted" at the "positive reaction" it has received.
With interest rates so low, the move could prove a sweet return for Hotel Chocolat's members - although it may be an issue for their waistlines.
US foodservice distributor Sysco has pulled the plug on its plan to buy local rival US Foods, four months after the country's competition watchdog moved to block the deal....
In an announcement that would have surprised few, Kraft Foods Group said today (1 July) its shareholders had thrown their weight behind the plans to combine the business with HJ Heinz. The market's at...
Whole Foods Market already had a reputation for being pricey. This will only be compounded by news that the retailer has been accused of routinely overcharging consumers by overstating the weight of p...
Dutch supermarket operator Ahold and Belgium-based retailer Delhaize Group announced today (24 June) that a long-awaited merger has been finalised in a move these two European retail giants hope will ...
- Focus: ConAgra own-label exit plan is about growth
- just-food's pick: Top trends at Fancy Food Show
- What Grexit could mean for the food industry
- IRI – The opportunity of range optimisation
- Focus: Can General Mills improve US retail sales?
- ConAgra confirms private-label exit
- Kraft Heinz unveils management structure
- Kraft faces lawsuit over 'natural' claims
- US performance weighs on General Mills
- Hovis "mulls Irish Pride Bakeries takeover"