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Brewdog’s founders offering liquid assets to drinkers

SINCE launching innovative north east, craft brewer Brewdog five years ago, co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie have dressed as penguins, produced the world's strongest beer and encased their bottles in dead animals in a series of sometimes controversial marketing stunts that have helped bring the company to international attention.

CHEERS: Martin Dickie, left, and James Watt launched Brewdog.
CHEERS: Martin Dickie, left, and James Watt launched Brewdog.

Yesterday, the Fraserburgh duo, best known for their Punk IPA beer, donned sober City suits as they travelled to London to launch a new £2.1 million share offer, confirming plans first revealed in The Herald in April.

Brewdog’s bosses aim to take at least £1m thorough the “equity for punks” fundraising, enough for it to proceed with the building of a £6.1m brewery on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

The brewery, scheduled to open at the end of 2012, could produce the equivalent of 40 million bottles of beer a year.

This is five times current production and would allow the company to meet demand so high that it has had to jettison several export markets and axed supplies to some UK pub chains.

The fundraising comes a year after fast-growing Brewdog’s first share issue raised £642,000 although this was some way short of the maximum £2.3m on offer.

Mr Watt told The Herald that £1m is the key target. He said: “I think our chances are good.

“This is the second time we have done it and we have certainly learned something from the first issue.”

Brewdog is offering four shares for £95, compared to £230 a share last time, in an effort to appeal to its relatively young customer base.

Existing shareholders will have their holdings adjusted in a one-for-10 share swap.

The share issue, which will cost the company £46,500, will proceed as long as it raises more than £100,000, the cost of opening a bar.

Brewdog already has pubs in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Others will open in Glasgow, London and Manchester as the company aims to have a 10-strong chain by the end of the year.

The share offer is aimed primarily at fans of the beer. Shareholders receive a discount of 10% to 20% at Brewdog’s online shop and 5% at its bars.

Mr Watt said: “We are giving ownership of the business to the people who enjoy the beers.”

The issue values the company at £26m, some 117 times 2010’s pre-tax profit of £222,000 earned on turnover of £3.3m.

Brewdog is on course to generate revenue of £6m this year, Mr Dickie said.

Mr Watt insisted that the fundraising should appeal to hard-nosed investors.

“It is not a short-term investment but people should get a financial return over the long term.”

The company currently employs around 65 people. The workforce is expected to climb above 100 by the end of the year.

l www.brewdog.com/equity forpunks.

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