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UK Chocolate manufacturer Hotel Chocolate plans (Singapore)

Candy maker issues chocolate bonds
U.K. confectioner to sell 5 million pounds worth of sweet-paying securities
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, Protected content 2:15 PM ET Comments33Recommend43.
CBC News
British confectioner Hotel Chocolat hopes to raise the equivalent of $7.3 million by issuing bonds in which the payments are made not in money but in chocolate.

British chocolatier Hotel Chocolat plans to fund expansion with chocolate bonds. (Jim Cole/Associated Press)
The U.K. chocolatier is taking advantage of low interest rates to fund its expansion plans. Under the scheme, 100,000 of its Tasting Club members — who already pay for home deliveries — will be offered the opportunity to put up between 2,000 and 4,000 British pounds ($3,000 and $6,000 Cdn) for a three-year "chocolate bond."

The less expensive bond earns the buyer a delivery of 18 pounds ($27 Cdn) worth of chocolate every two months, the equivalent of a 6.72 per cent yield. A larger investment earns 7.29 per cent, because the same shipment will come monthly.

"We have ambitious plans for the future, and when it came to considering the funding of these plans, we decided to think somewhat differently," Hotel Chocolat CEO Angus Thirlwell told Reuters.

"Rather than borrow in the traditional way and pay interest to a big bank, we would much prefer to provide a return to our customers — in chocolate — through a chocolate bond."

Funds will be used to pay for factory expansion and new retail locations, the company said Tuesday.

The offer will be sent to club members some time this week.

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