UK wine investment firm European Fine Wines Ltd has gone into liquidation with debts totalling £2m, more than double the original estimates.
A creditors meeting held on the 25th June in Bexleyheath,South London, appointed Abbott Fielding Ltd liquidators for the failed wine investment company based in Bromley and founded in 2005.
Debts originally thought to be between £500,000 and £1m were found to have climbed to £2m.
Abbott Fielding Insolvency Practitioner Nedim Ailyan told Decanter.com ‘we were told the debts were less than one million. However, once we were able to look at the books, we saw that the debt was actually £3 million against assets of £1 million – mainly wine.’
According to Ailyan a major factor in the company’s collapse was their decision to set up an office in Hong Kong. ‘They sank £1m into this gamble. Unlike companies like Farr Vintners, who have successfully set up branches in Hong Kong, EFW did not have the specialist staff or the contacts necessary to succeed’ he said.
Abbott Fielding plan to investigate how far the Hong Kong venture was funded by investors’ funds intended to buy wine.
‘It is all right to gamble but not with other people’s money,’ added Aiylan.
EFW turned over £80 million in wine sales during their nine years of operation.
Written by Jim Budd