July 21, 2024

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Chapel Down is considering a sale as its wine business booms

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The U.K.’s wine industry has never sparkled more. Last year’s harvest was the country’s largest ever, defying a global slump in wine output due to climate change.  

Over the years, there has been massive growth in new vineyards and wineries in the U.K., including for Kent-based Chapel Down, the country’s largest winemaker.

The company is now exploring options to help fund further expansion, including selling its business or raising investments from current and new shareholders, it announced on Tuesday. No decision has been confirmed yet. 

Chapel Down was only listed on London’s junior exchange, AIM, six months ago. 

The English sparkling winemaker said it plans to use the fresh funds for new vineyards and a new purpose-built winery that’ll be up and running by 2026.

“Considering the timeline of these investments, the Board believes that it is now appropriate to review the full range of long-term funding options that support this plan,” Chapel Down said in a statement. 

The company said it was on track to hit double-digit sales growth in 2024 and aims to double its sales between 2021 and 2026.

Chapel Down declined to comment beyond its announcement. 

The wine-making business isn’t new to Britain—it just never stood a real chance against its better-known rivals in France and Spain. 

Founded 22 years ago, Chapel Down has witnessed the U.K.’s wine business expand at a time when climate change has wreaked havoc on other traditional wine-producing hubs. 

Warmer conditions in the U.K. have spawned local businesses and increased wine exports, attracting £570 million ($723.5 million) in the last 10 years, according to real estate advisory firm Strutt & Parker.

“Although the U.K. remains a very minor producer of grapes globally – at well under a tenth of a percent – it grew faster than any of the major wine-growing countries in the world in 2023,” Nick Watson, the head of viticulture at Strutt &…

Prarthana Prakash

2024-06-25 06:15:23

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