Demand for Hotel Chocolat's 'chocolate bonds' falls short

Hotel Chocolat: 'chocolate bonds' raise £3.7m
Hotel Chocolat: 'chocolate bonds' raise £3.7m

Hotel Chocolat, the upmarket high-street chain, has raised £3.7m from issuing "chocolate bonds", falling short of the £5m it had hoped to raise for its expansion plans.

In May this year, Hotel Chocolat announced that it was hoping to raise £5m to fund its expansion plans with the novel approach, which required the green light by the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog.

The initiative by Hotel Chocolat, which has 42 shops in the UK, offered investors two choices.

They could subscribe for a three-year, £2,000 bond, which would earn them a box of chocolates valued at £18, every two months.

Alternatively, there was a three-year, £4,000 bond that will pay out a higher-value chocolate box.

The group marketed its venture to members of Hotel Chocolat's Tasting Club, who pay for regular home deliveries of its premium chocolates.

Hotel Chocolat is to use the money raised will help to expand the high street chain from 42 to more than 70 shops and to buy an eco-chocolate plantation in Saint Lucia.

Hotel Chocolat said the £3.7m raised was towards the top end of its target £5m and well in excess of its minimum target of £500,000.

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