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Seedrs Platform Plays Host to IPO

UK equity crowdfunder Seedrs is set to facilitate a funding round for French winemaker Domaine Chanzy as part of an upcoming IPO.

a row of barrels in a dark room

The Burgundy-based vineyard is looking to raise £1.9m, with shares priced at 120p each. Investors may participate in the offering for as little as £10 a pop via the Seedrs platform. Domaine Chanzy will be listing on the AIM, and incidentally becomes the first French company to go public on a London exchange. For those interested, the wine specialist’s ticker symbol will be “WINE”, once listed. Domaine Chanzy will also be raising funding for the IPO through a placing led by several City corporate finance firms.

What this means, of course, is that participating backers will have the capacity to readily trade their shareholdings on the AIM – subject to buyer demand. As part and parcel of Seedrs’ nominee structure, individual investors will not be required to establish separate brokerage or trading accounts. There is also a rewards-like angle here. Investors will be offered significant discounts on Domaine Chanzy wine purchases. These sorts of deal-sweeteners (sometimes literally) are not uncommon amongst equity-based platforms.

This is not the first flirtation between Seedrs and a winemaker/public exchange combo. The platform hosted a then-record round for Chapel Down back in October last year, raising nigh on £4m. Chapel Down is listed on the ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange – a fact which likely accounted for a substantial proportion of investor demand.

Seedrs has claimed that today’s news represents the first instance of an IPO being conducted via crowdfunding. As frequent readers of AltFi will doubtless know, that clashes with the claim of SyndicateRoom – which part-hosted Mill Residential REIT’s IPO in December 2014. The REIT round also stands as the first example of equity crowdfunders in the UK managing to turn a return. Seedrs’ clarifying quote read thusly:

“To Seedrs’ knowledge, this is the first time that an operating company (rather than a wrapper such as a REIT) has used crowdfunding to conduct an IPO on a major exchange.”

Without delving too far into the legitimacy of each claim, the important takeaway is that both the REIT and Domaine Chanzy IPOs represent a bold and developmental angle for the equity crowdfunding space. It is an angle that should carry the various platforms deeper into the mainstream as key components in the corporate fundraising toolkit.

Philippe Der Megreditchian, Chief Executive Officer of Domaine Chanzy, explained the move:

“We are delighted to launch our IPO in London and to partner with Seedrs to do so.  Domaine Chanzy will be unique in being the only French wine specialist listed in London as well as the only French company listed on AIM.  We have ambitions to be one of the top wine producers in Burgundy and this unique approach to listing on AIM via crowdfunding will enable us to reach a wide investor base and deliver on our strategy.”

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