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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Farr Vintners buys Magnum Fine Wines




Farr Vintners has today announced that they have bought long established Magnum Fine Wines Ltd, which was founded in 1985. Alan Rayne, who has been a director of the company since 1992 and its managing director for many years, has decided to retire, which is fair enough given that he was born in the great vintage of 1947.

Magnum has been a properly run wine investment company and had there been more Magnums the image of wine investment today would surely not be sharing the floor with carbon credits, coloured diamonds and the like.

Message from Stephen Browett, chairman of Farr Vintners  
'Farr Vintners is delighted to announce that we have purchased Magnum Fine Wines following Alan Rayne’s decision to retire from the wine trade. I have known Alan for nearly 30 years and feel very honoured that he has chosen to entrust Farr Vintners to look after his customers and their wine portfolios in the future. Alan is rightly proud of the business that he has built up and a key part of his decision to pass the company on to Farr Vintners was that he knows that his customers will continue to receive exemplary and professional service.  

Farr Vintners, like Magnum Fine Wines, holds all of its stocks and customer reserves in the outstanding underground cellars of Octavian Vaults. Magnum’s customers can rest assured that they will continue to have their precious wines stored in the world’s best wine storage facility.

Over the last 5 years alone, Farr Vintners, based in Battersea, South London, has sold nearly £600 million worth of fine wine and is now the world’s leading Fine Wine Wholesaler, storing well over a million bottles of wine on behalf of its customers, who are based in many countries all around the world.

Farr Vintners was the first UK wine merchant to open an office in the Far East when Farr Vintners Asia was established in Hong Kong nearly 20 years ago. Our sales teams in both London and Hong Kong will be very pleased to assist Magnum’s customers and offer genuinely informed and expert advice on all aspects of wine buying, selling and storage. The first contact for Magnum customers in the UK is Farr Vintners Director Tom Hudson (tom@farrvintners.com) and in Asia Jo Purcell, Managing Director of Farr Vintners Asia (jopurcell@farrhk.com). However Alan Rayne will be pleased to help and advise customers until he leaves the company at the end of September. 

Over the coming weeks we will be working hard to integrate Magnum Fine Wines’ customer information into our own system and once this is completed we will be able to offer customers access to their portfolios online as well as the wealth of information available to our existing customers. We will contact customers once this process is complete with further details.'

Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd: not for me thanks!



This is yet another recently formed wine investment company: Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd was set up on 24th January 2014. Its two present directors – 27-year-old Sultan Mahmood Rashid and 29-year-old Riccardo Tullio De'nardis were appointed on 8th April 2014.  

 
'We are experienced wine merchants & brokers'
'We have firmly established contacts with French négociants'

For a company formed in January 2014 they have gained experience and contacts with remarkable speed...  
 
'Fine wine is an excellent alternative investments.
'The fine wine is booming picking the right wines 
gives significant opportunities for incredible tax-free returns.' 

Fine wine, especially Bordeaux, is not booming as prices have been dropping since 2011. 

Incorrect claims of fine wine investment is free from capital gains tax.
No mention of inheritance tax  

 'Its official Classification (Appellation d'Controlee) 
dates back to 1855 at Napoleon 3rd's request.'

Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd confuse Appellation Contrôlée (started in 1936) with the 1855 classification. 

'We store our wine in London City Bond's (LCB) 
bonded warehouse: Vinothèque in Barking' 

Rather alarming – LCB's Vinothèque is in Burton-on-Trent around 150 miles north-west of Barking! 

 How much are the storage charges? Our strong relationship 
with London City Bond (LCB) gives us 
highly competitive storage rates with two options: 

'highly competitive rates'!

Sultan Mahmood Rashid and Riccardo Tullio De'nardis claim a 'strong relationship with London City Bond' but Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd has no company account at LCB. The 'highly competitive storage rates' claimed by Twelve-By-Seventy-Five are LCB's standard rates from private customers:

LCB's standard charges for private account holders 


The last thing the fine wine trade needs is another 'wine investment' company making false claims. I'll certainly avoid Sultan Mahmood Rashid and Riccardo Tullio De'nardis new Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd, which I hope will be both short-lived and unsuccessful.   





 




Friday, 15 August 2014

9-year ban for Ofosuherne Ofori-Duah of Vintage International Ltd scam

9-year director's ban for boss of scam investment company: Vintage International Ltd, which collapsed in October 2012 with debts of around £1.2 million. Ofosuherne Ofori-Duah's Vintage International Ltd continued to trade for over a year despite being insolvent. 

The company was set up in August 2008. Vintage used an accommodation address in Canary Wharf as well as high pressure sales tactics including cold calls. Clients were also substantially over-charged for their investments wines, so even those investors who received their wines are likely to have made a substantial loss. High initial prices compounded by a falling fine wine market.    
  
From the Insolvency Service: 
'Mr Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, the director of Vintage International Limited (“Vintage”), a company incorporated to provide wine investment services to clients, has been disqualified from acting as a director for a period of 9 years for causing Vintage to trade with undue risk to its clients.

The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Company Investigations Team in London.

Mr Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills that he will not act as a director of a limited company for nine years from 30 July 2014.


Vintage went into voluntary liquidation in October 2012 owing its clients £1,063,424 in respect of unfulfilled wine orders. Total assets available at the date of liquidation were estimated to realise £21,789 and the total shortfall including trade and other creditors was estimated to be £1,121,546.


Commenting on the disqualifications, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service said:


“The director in Vintage failed to ensure proper corporate governance was in place to clearly monitor client orders and the financial position of the company.

 

“The Insolvency Service will always look to remove from the business community those directors who act below the standards that should be expected of them given the circumstances of their company’s trading.”

The Insolvency Service investigation found that at 30 June 2011 Vintage had unfulfilled client orders of at least £293,056, over half of which had been placed at least six months earlier. At this time, Vintage was insolvent and had insufficient funds available to purchase the necessary stock to meet those outstanding client orders.


Despite its insolvency, Vintage continued to take new client orders and between 1 July 2011 and the date of liquidation it took a further £917,410 from clients for wine purchases. By liquidation only £148,917 of these new client orders had been fulfilled.


Notes to Editors
Vintage International Limited was incorporated on 22 August 2008 and went into voluntary liquidation on 26 October 2012. Its registered office was 29th Floor, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DY.

Ofosuhene Ofori-Duah, also known as Ofo Duah, 35, of Greenwich, South East London gave an undertaking on 8 July 2014 to the Secretary of State not to be a director for 9 years. The disqualification commences on 30 July 2014. His date of birth is 18 May 1979.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot;
act as a director of a company;

take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership;

act as an insolvency practitioner; or

be a receiver of a company’s property.
 
In addition many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
 
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
 
Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification'