Hotel Chocolat nears the finishing line on second sweet bond offer

Michael Bow
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Chocolate seller Hotel Chocolat is on track to raise up to £5m of development capital through a retail bond offering – which pays interest to customers in chocolate.

The company, led by founder Angus Thirlwell, is expected to close the bond offering next week after a month of fundraising.

“The early stages are encouraging. We feel we’re on track,” Thirlwell told City A.M.

The three-year bond is the second such issue by the company after it raised £3.7m in 2010 using a similar instrument.

The cash – which is being raised through two bonds paying 7.33 per cent and 7.25 per cent of gross annual returns – will be used to help expand the business overseas.

The cash will also help bring a range of Hotel Chocolat cafes and eateries to the high street.

“We have alternative routes to raise development capital but this one allows us pay our own customers, that’s the appeal of it,” Thirlwell added.

Punters can purchase either £2,500 or £5,000 of the 7.33 per cent bond and receive a monthly box of chocolate as interest.

The second 7.25 per cent bond can be purchased in multiples of £1,000 and investors receive a loyalty card with the interest on to spend in Hotel Chocolat stores.

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