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Monday, 28 July 2014

Two new asset companies – I'd avoid: Belgravia Alternative Assets Ltd + Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd


 Belgravia Alternative Assets Ltd – 'an alternative investment specialists'

Belgravia Alternative Assets Ltd – set up 16.11.2009 
but dormant at least until 6.12.12 


It must always be a disappointment always be a disappointment when one of your companies goes bust. Take, for instance, Canary Wharf Vintners Ltd which is going into liquidation. Founded back in May 2006, the company changed its name in May 2007 to Strategic Land Acquisitions Ltd before becoming Canary Wharf Vintners in September 2010. Its sole director is 55-year-old Enver Deen and its share capital totals £2.

Fortunately for Mr Deen he has a new project: Belgravia Alternative Assets Ltd apaprently trading from 78 Pall Mall, St James, London, SW1Y 5ES ('prestigious serviced offices, office space, virtual offices and meeting room facilities') with a registered office at 147-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PW (Registered Office Service - Companies Made Simple). With a newish company (formed in late 2009 but dormant at least until end of 2012) why not have a new name? So Mr Enver Kemal Jainu-Deen it is (still 55-years-old)  – sole director with a share capital of £1.

'As alternative investment specialists..' 

 Products: Investments Projects (Green), Investment Metals, 
Wine Investment, Investment Land, Investment Art

Last week Mr Deen kindly assured me that Belgravia would not be offering any 'contentious' investments. I can only conclude that we have rather different ideas over what is meant by a 'contentious' investment.
  
Still early days – unfinished parts of the website

Terms & Conditions? – not yet... 
 

Search under the name Kemal Enver Jainu-Deen and the indefatigable 55-year-old has another company: Alexander Dane Ltd – apparently non-trding at present but pencilled in to be a recruitment agency. All rather curious as Mr Deen appears to have already had a recruitment agency, although it is now called the London Gem Exchange Ltd but until 7th July 2014 was called The Employment Company No 1 Ltd. Sole director: 55-year old Enver Jainu-Deen

I can only assume that Mr Deen is a jazz fan and loves improvisation! I'm tempted to enter Mastermind with the companies and the variations on Mr Deen's name as my special subject.  

Despite Deen's ingenuity I think I will certainly give his various companies a miss.   

You also have to wonder how it is possible in these days of strict controls on setting up bank accounts etc. that UK Companies House appears to accept a cornucopia of different names!   
 ***

'Paragon has been a constant in the diamond market for many years'
'our company has a long stable track record spanning many years'


Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd – formed 10th May 2013

First annual return filed late – should have been 7.6.2014
Instead not filed until 24.7.2014

Paragon website registered: 30.4.2013

Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd was founded on 10th May 2013 so its claim to have a 'long stable track record spanning many years' looks to be a trifle imaginative. Its sole director is 74-year-old Stuart Poppelton, who has some 957 directorships to his credit. Its share capital is £2.

Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd Terms & Conditions
'not authorised to offer investment advice'

If you are cold called by Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd remember their terms & conditions: 'Paragon Fine Diamonds LTD is not authorised to offer investment advice, neither does it purport to.' 'Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd offer no warranty, guarantees, resale value or resale advice on any product sold.'

So don't waste your time put the phone down!

Paragon Fine Diamonds Ltd is another company I would certainly avoid.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

En Primeur Ltd: 6 figure estimated deficit turns into £1.7 million!

Château Latour: one of several First Growths 
missing from a client's reserve account with En Primeur Ltd 
   
Unfortunately En Primeur Ltd’s financial situation is much worse than it was initially thought. Before he had had a chance to have a close look at the books Nedim Ailyan had estimated that the deficit would be in 6 figures and probably at the low end of this range. Instead the report presented at the creditors’ meeting on 16th July 2014 at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath painted a very much blacker picture.

Bankrupt En Primeur Ltd has losses of £1.7 million far higher than initially thought. The full extent of the company’s financial problems became clear once the liquidator saw the company’s books.

Nedim Ailyan of Abbott Fielding (Sidcup) was appointed liquidator at the creditors’ meeting held on 16th July 2014.

Creditors are owed over £1.8 million. Marco Correia, the company’s sole director and major shareholder, estimates En Primeur Ltd’s wine assets at £223,495. However, Edward Symmons, property and asset consultants appointed to realize their worth, value the stock at only £150,609.

Furthermore some of the company’s wine stocks are in France and will not be released until a £51,000 bill has been settled.

(Details: Stock held at London City Bond in En Primeur’s Trading Account cost £80,420. However, Edward Symmons, property and asset consultants appointed to realize their worth, value this stock at £48,500. A further 990 bottles, which were taken out of bond have a claimed retail value of approximately £45,109 – estimated are estimated by Symmons to have a value of around £11,000. Wines held in France: £97,975 but with a valuation of £57,000. The wines lying in France will only be released once outstanding monies of £51,000 have been paid. Thus the realizable net total for the company’s wine stocks appears to be £99,609.

According to Correia En Primeur Ltd’s problems started in 2011 when one of its suppliers was unable to deliver the 2008 en primeurs ordered. The company was forced to find replacements at the height of the Bordeaux boom. Cases that had been sold to customers for £1600 a case now cost up to £15,000.


Although it is true that prices of top Bordeaux as well as some of their associated wines such as Carruades de Lafite did rise sharply over this period only to fall back after 2011, I'm at loss to think of a wine that went from £1600 a case to £15,000 during this period unless it was sold far too cheaply in the first place. 

Losses mounted: between 30th September 2012 and 16th July 2014 En Primeur Ltd made a trading loss of £1.35 million.
  

The overall loss may continue to mount as investdrinks is aware that there are discrepancies between what customers thought should in their En Primeur Ltd reserve account at London City Bond and what is physically there now.

One customer has informed investdrinks that he now only has eight cases in his En Primeur Ltd reserve account instead of 20, which should have included some Bordeaux First Growths. At present it is not known what has happened to these wines.  Some of these missing wines had been purchased from other merchants and had been transferred from another bonded warehouse.
 

There are also some 2010 and 2011 en primeurs that have not been delivered. 

Postscript:
There is one clear lesson from this sorry tale. Store your valuable wine in your own account. Do not rely on putting it into a company's customer reserves as there is nothing to stop that company moving your wine without your knowledge. 



 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

As European Fine Wines goes into liquidation debts hit £2 million

Premises of European Fine Wines Ltd in Bromley


At the creditors' meeting on 25th June 2014 held in Bexleyheath, South London, Abbott Fielding Ltd were appointed liquidators for European Fine Wines Ltd, a wine investment company based in Bromley and founded in 2005.

Debts originally thought to be between £500,000 to £1 million have now climbed to £2 million. In their nine years of operation EFW turned over £80 million in wine.

Nedim Ailyan, the Insolvency Practitioner at Abbott Fielding Ltd, said: "We were told the debts were less than one million. However, once we were able to look at the books, we saw that the debt was actually £3 million against assets of £1 million - mainly wine.'

According to Ailyan a major factor in the company's collapse was their decision to set up an office in Hong Kong. "They sank £1 million into this gamble. Unlikely companies like Farr Vintners, who have successfully set up branches in Hong Kong, EFW did not have the specialist staff or the contacts necessary to succeed."

Abbott Fielding will be investigating how far the Hong Kong adventure was funded by investors' funds intended to buy wine.

"It is all right to gamble but not with other people's money," added Aiylan.

It is still unclear how much wine was not bought as I am getting reports from investors that some of their wines are missing. 

••

Encarta Fine Wines Ltd: also ceased trading?

 'Encarta Investment Group was founded in 2006..
down to earth, friendly and helpful fine wine investment company'  

Encarta website no longer found


Yet another 'wine investment' company may have ceased trading as the Encarta Fine Wines's website has disappeared.

Update: 7.7.2014 The Encarta website is now back up, although a phone call gets a recorded message.