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Sat 8th Oct 2016 - Burning Night Group aiming to raise £3.5m in crowdfunding campaign to fund next stage of growth
Burning Night Group aiming to raise £3.5m in crowdfunding campaign to fund next stage of growth: Burning Night Group has already secured £1m in the first weeks of its crowdfunding campaign on peer-to-peer lending platform Crowdstacker. The company is offering a mini-bond paying 7% per annum interest to those participating in the overall £3.5m raise, to expand its successful chain of bar brands that already operate in some of the country’s busiest city centres including Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Cardiff. Burning Night Group, which employs more than 500 people and with generated turnover in excess of £17m in 2016, plans to plough the investment raised on Crowdstacker into further growth by upgrading existing sites and creating new ones for brands such as its German themed Bierkeller, its sports bars “Shooters”, and global beer concept bar “Around the World”. Chief executive Alan Harper said: “Generating nearly a third of our overall target within weeks of opening our campaign is incredible and really demonstrates the attraction of peer-to-peer investments for people looking for better rates of return than products like cash ISAs can currently offer. We chose the peer-to-peer route because it is also a way for us to engage with our huge community of customers and fans. All our bars have a strong contingent of regulars, and we wanted to give them a way to benefit from our success by becoming involved with our expansion.” The minimum investment for the loan is £500 and the term is three years with interest payments made quarterly. Security has been structured in several ways to mitigate as many risks as possible. Firstly, loans are secured on the assets of Burning Night Group via a first ranking debenture and secondly, six of its principal subsidiaries will provide cross guarantees where they guarantee Burning Night Group’s liabilities. Finally, two of is principal subsidiaries have given a first ranking debenture over their assets and business. Approximately half the money raised so far has been invested via the tax efficient Innovative Finance ISA. Crowdstacker enables its lenders to hold their peer-to-peer loans in this investment wrapper, which was introduced by the government in April 2016, because it is one of only a handful of peer-to-peer platforms with the required Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) permissions and is an HMRC approved Innovative Finance ISA Manager. Crowdstacker chief executive and co-founder Karteek Patel said: “We aim to do things differently at Crowdstacker. We are very much focused on attention to detail and adopt a careful methodical approach to all that we do. This has stood us in good stead to secure the necessary full FCA authorisation so that we are able to offer everyday investors looking for potentially better rates of interest additional benefits such as the tax-free ISA. And it also means that we are able to offer investors more robust options, which can offer higher levels of security than some other peer-to-peer investments. When you invest through us, you are able to choose specific, hand-picked businesses to lend to. We do a huge amount of due diligence before we even consider allowing a business to raise money on our platform. And loans are only approved if that business is willing and able to offer sufficient levels of protection to investors.”

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