Renaissance Brewing up for sale after voluntary administration appointment
By Paul McBeth
Oct. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators.
Shephard Dunphy's Iain Shephard and Jessica Kellow were appointed voluntary administrators of the Blenheim-based boutique beer brewer yesterday, Companies Office filings show. Shephard told BusinessDesk today the brewer ran into cash flow difficulties and was operating too many product lines at times, however he says the business is good and will keep operating as usual.
"We believe there's a hell of an asset here - the tide is still coming in in the craft beer market, they only entered one beer in the awards that were held at the weekend in Christchurch and they won a gold for it," Shephard said. "Staff are still being employed, customers are still receiving their orders and we're now seeking expressions of interested in respect of buying the business."
Renaissance was the first company to raise money under the country's three-year-old equity crowdfunding regime in August 2014, securing its $700,000 target in just a week and a half, a quarter of the time the offer was open.
Co-founder Brian Thiel, who owns almost 31 percent of Renaissance, is listed as the sole director of the brewer, after his fellow co-founder Andrew Deuchars ceased to be a director on June 11, Companies Office documents show. Former strategic director David Pearce left the board on Feb. 21 and former chair Gareth Lyne departed on May 15, 2016, having both joined the brewer's board in November 2013. Alan Young ceased being a director after just six months on Feb. 21 this year.
In recent years the craft beer market has grown at a faster pace than the broader beer industry, accounting for a tenth of the value of national consumption in 2016 and just 5.7 percent of the volume, according to ANZ Bank New Zealand's annual industry survey. There are about 194 craft breweries, of which 130 are deemed to be small operations who boosted production 22 percent and revenue 32 percent.
The growing demand for craft beer has seen the country's dominant brewers - Kirin-owned Lion (Beer, Spirits and Wine) New Zealand and Heineken's DB Breweries - raid their boutique rivals, most recently with DB's purchase of Tuatara Brewing Co and Lion's Panhead acquisition.