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.
Amazon Dash, the service that allows consumers to re-order products at home through the retail giant at the touch of a button, has been launched in three European markets....
just-food is closed on Monday (29 August) for a public holiday but, while we down tools, catch up on some must-read insight and interviews....
General Mills is reportedly preparing long-time executive Jeff Harmening to succeed Ken Powell as CEO....
- Murray Goulburn's FY results - 7 things to learn
- Interview, part 1: Emmi CEO Urs Riedener
- Nestle on China, candy, nutrition - analysis
- Why Jet.com purchase could boost Wal-Mart online
- What change at Hershey Trust means for Mondelez
- Australia launches dairy sector probe
- Mondelez abandons Hershey pursuit
- Lactalis strikes deal with farmers on milk prices
- Chobani expands into Mexico
- Nestle launches protein-enhanced milk in India