Oastbrook Estate in Sussex secures stock-based funding on maturing wine
23 JUNE 2020 By Lucy Shaw
English winery Oastbrook Estate in Sussex has secured stock-based funding from fintech firm Ferovinum on its maturing wine.
Run by Bahia-born Plumpton graduate America Brewer and her husband Nick, Oastbrook Estate, near Bodiam Castle in Sussex, produces still and sparkling wines, runs vineyard tours and also serves as a wedding venue with ‘hobbit house’ accommodation.
Acclaimed winemaker Dermot Sugrue produces the estate’s sparklers while Simon Woodhead makes Oastbrook’s still wines.
Ferovinum provides a new form of funding solution for UK wine producers based on the value of maturing wine. The fintech firm buys wine during the maturation period and covers the costs associated with finishing the wine, then sells it back to the owner when required.
This strategy optimises cashflow by freeing working capital locked up in inventories during the production and storage process, which can be invested in further growth.
“The flexibility of the product and the excellent customer interaction from Ferovinum led us to choose this product over more traditional finance,” Nick Brewer said.
“The ability to free up working capital from wine inventory has allowed us to invest productively elsewhere in the business,” he added.
Oastbrook is re-investing the capital in a new tasting room and events space, which will be the hub of their wedding business, complementing their hobbit house.
Following a call for capital to support the English and Welsh wine industry by trade body Wine GB, Ferovinum adapted its service, which has thus far been providing capital against finished wine and spirit stocks for importers and distributors.
“I am delighted to hear that Oastbrook has secured this financing from Ferovinum, ensuring wine producers can use their stocks to finance their business has been a WineGB objective for some years, so this is a very welcome development,” said Simon Robinson, chairman of Wine GB.
Mitch Fowler of Ferovinum added: “We leapt at the challenge to design a service to match the unique needs of the growing English and Welsh wine industry.
“If our sparkling wine is to compete on a global stage, then quality-focused producers shouldn’t be held back by the burden of carrying inventories for long maturation periods. Freeing up capital for reinvestment in the business, marketing and branding creates a virtuous cycle for the industry.”