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Lord Ashcroft puts more millions into Gusbourne winery

English wine producer Gusbourne is looking to spend £10m on its vineyards and cellar door shop, with majority owner Lord Ashcroft pleding around two thirds of the money.

Gusbourne said that it planned to raise between £8m and £10m, through the sale of ‘deep discount’ bonds, which have warrants attached to convert them into shares in the business.

The English winery is on the London stock exchange and controlled by Conservative tycoon Lord Ashcroft.

Lord Ashcroft said he would apply for a share of the bonds in line with his 64.4% shareholding in Gusbourne; so, if the issue raises £8m, he would buy bonds worth just over £5.1m.

Gusbourne, acquired by former Conservative Party deputy chairman Ashcroft in 2013 in a £7m takeover deal, plans to spend part of the proceeds of the bonds on immature vineyards planted between 2013 and 2015 in Kent and West Sussex.

The company will also buy ‘additional plant and equipment’ for its vineyards and winery, it said in a regulatory statement, and will use some of the cash raised as working capital to fund increases in its stocks of sparkling wine.

Further proceeds will be used to develop the Gusbourne brand, to repay a bond held by Gusbourne founder Andrew Weeber and his wife Caroline, and to establish a cellar door facility, including vineyard and winery tours.

‘The company’s long-term strategy includes the further expansion of production and sales of its international award-winning English sparkling wine products,’ Gusbourne said.

‘The production of premium sparkling wine from new vineyards is by its very nature a long-term project and requires funding to support the investment in new vineyards, additional winery capacity and wine stocks.’

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