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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 7th Mar 2017 - Hedderwick launches £1.87m crowdfunding campaign on Downing Crowd, first pub bond IFISA
Hedderwick launches £1.87m crowdfunding campaign on Downing Crowd, first pub bond IFISA: Hedderwick, a company managed with support from Oakman Inns & Restaurants, is raising £1.87m through crowdfunding platform Downing Crowd. The pub bond will be available through Downing Crowd’s new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) tax wrapper, which will allow investors to potentially earn up to 6.25% interest over 12 months (364 days) tax-free. Downing said it believed this would be the first pub bond IFISA. Hedderwick owns Banyers House in Royston, Hertfordshire, a pub restaurant that opened in December. Hedderwick’s second site in Olney, near Milton Keynes is to be converted into another pub restaurant. The site faces on to the market square and, subject to planning permission, is expected to open this year. Downing Crowd Bonds are a type of investment-based crowdfunding, which allow investors to lend directly to a wide range of UK businesses via bonds that are secured against a company’s operational assets. This security seeks to reduce investor risk by enabling Downing, as security trustee, to sell these assets if the borrower defaults on the bond. Downing has provided £85m funding in the UK pub sector, supporting 60 pub restaurants and bars across the UK. Julia Groves, head of crowdfunding, said: “Over a million people have now invested through a crowdfunding platform in the UK but, despite its growing popularity, the different kinds of crowdfunding tend to all get labelled as ‘extremely risky’. In fact, Crowd Bonds are a simple type of securitised investment and, provided investors fully understand the relevant risks compared with savings accounts, they can offer potentially attractive returns in the current climate of low interest rates and rising inflation.” Steven Kenee, partner and head of Downing’s licensed leisure team, added: “I am delighted to confirm that when the Downing Crowd IFISA launches, the Hedderwick Bond will be ‘IFISA-able’, which we believe will make it the world’s first pub bond IFISA. This is an innovative product combining our passion for the sector with our experience in developing innovative and tax-efficient investment products. We hope this will be the first of many similar products and, whether you are attracted to the possibility of potentially earning tax-free interest from investments in the sector or are interested in raising funds for your own business, I urge you to get in touch.” The first tranche of Downing Crowd’s Hedderwick Pub Bond closes at midday on Friday, 7 April.

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