Wine Name:

Monday, 23 December 2013

Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd: in provisional liquidation in public interest

Press release from the Insolvency Service:

'Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd (“BFW”), a company that sold wine to investors, was put into provisional liquidation by the High Court in the public interest on 19 December 2013, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

BFW, based in Croydon, South West London sold fine wines, mostly from the Bordeaux region to customers as an investment, cold calling potential customers. The order follows a petition on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Official Receiver has been appointed provisional liquidator of BFW. The role of the provisional liquidator is to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition.

The provisional liquidator also has the power to investigate the affairs of the company insofar as it is necessary to protect the assets including any third party or trust money or assets in the possession or under the control of the company.

The case is now subject to High Court action and no further information will be made available until the hearing of the petition which is due to be heard in the High Court on 26 February 2014. 

Notes to Editors

  1. The registered office of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd is Imperial House, North Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1SD. It was incorporated on 18th September 2008.
  2. The petition was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986. The Official Receiver was appointed as Provisional Liquidator of the company on 19h December 2013. 

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: Stuart Tatham, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT or e-mail:

The sole director of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd is 30-year-old Kenneth Gundlach. Gundlach is also a director of Invest in Storage Ltd (appointed 4.10.12), Capital Wealth Venture Ltd (app: 4.1.2013), Hunter & Reynolds Ltd (app: 7.2.13), Sales Recruit UK Ltd (7.2.13), Driving Made Simple (app: 4.4.13) and Bordeaux Merchants Ltd (app: 29.5.13).   

Ken Gundlach is closing several of his companies: Bordeaux Merchants, Hunter & Reynolds and Invest in Storage are down for voluntary strike-off with the first gazettes published on 5.11.2013. Dmlg has changed its name to Sales Recruit Ltd  – its website is currently 'undergoing urgent maintenance'.

In 2012 Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd sponsored the Race Owners Association's (ROA) Horseracing Awards. 


  1. jim what has caused this to happen

  2. There will have been an investigation by the Companies Investigation Branch, which may have been triggered by a complaint. The investigation presumably uncovered sufficient evidence for the CIB to believe that the company should be closed in the public interest. What that evidence is will be revealed on 26th February 2014, especially if the petition is contested.

  3. Jim. May I ask what is the difference between shutdown by the CIB and/or criminal/police action???

    Surely this is not just a civil matter with a worst case scenario for the company to be liquidated and the director banned?

    Theoretically they can start trading again the next day under a new name with a new director?

    What makes the difference between Civil and Police/Criminal Action???

    Thank you.

    A concerned investor who believed he has been scammed/overcharged by BWF!

  4. The CIB is mainly concerned with companies, although thy can and do bring cases to the High Court to ban directors. As you say there appears to be nothing to stop a director just setting up a new company. Indeed in this case Gundlach already has Bordeaux Merchants Ltd. The CIB may pass on details of the investigation to the police or the Serious Fraud Squad. This happened in the Nouveau World Wine/Finbow case.

    Much earlier details of the Goldman Williams/City Vintners cases were passed to the SFO who started an investigation but was dropped because an initial CIB investigation failed to find cause for concern. The second CIB investigation was more thorough.

  5. Hi again Jim. Thank you for the reply.

    I am familiar with the Finbow wine case as I was cold called by them and I didn't invest.

    From my knowledge of this company, it started off as an overpriced wine seller/boiler-room and ended up selling wine that didn't even exist.

    I believe this to be the MAIN reason the case went criminal and people were prosecuted.

    I think the director was sent down for 6 or 7 years ???

    However, in the case of BWF, it looks just like a civil matter as although the wine I have purchased has been hugely inflated and sold to me with a big mark-up, it actually exists and sits in bond and that can't be disputed.

    What I am disappointed about is the sharp-practice of the company, as they definitely gave me a hard-sell and even sent out some sody looking documentation leading me to believe my wine was worth more than it actually was!

    On that basis I picked up another 2x cases which I now regret!

    I am unfamiliar with the Goldman Williams/City Vintners cases.

    I take it they were similar?

    Any more thoughts Jim???

    Can you see any criminal action coming from this???

    OR is it just a case of grey-area cold calling companies and getting away with being unregulated!

    1. Thanks anon. Finbow: Daniel Snelling was jailed for seven and half years.

      Goldman Williams/City Vintners was back in 2001 and they overcharged.

      Impossible to say whether there will be a police investigation and I don't know what evidence the CIB has for petitioning to have BFW closed in the public interest.

    2. Anon. It would be good to know what you bought, what you paid and when you bought your wine from BFW please. Thanks Jim.

  6. Edited comment from anon:

    I'm delighted to see that 'BFW' have finally been exposed. It's been blatantly obvious for some time that they've been overcharging. Their PUBLISHED accounts show a margin of 50%+, and that's after taking all costs/expenses into account!

    1. Anon. For the moment BFW is in provisional liquidation with the full hearing on 26th February. It would be interesting to know whether Gundlach's other companies have or will be investigated by the Companies Investigation Branch.

  7. Jim, I have an unfortunate client of BFW and fell hook line and sinker for their selling suaveness. Fortunately I have wines in my own name held in bond. However will I have any redress with this company for overcharging if any proceedings are progressed??

  8. Anon. I'm not a solicitor, so I suggest that you get legal advice on the possibility of redress.

  9. Anon. It would be good to know what you bought, what you paid and when you bought your wine from BFW please. Thanks Jim.

  10. The issues with BFW are that customers have invested their funds with the company and BFW failed to purchase the wine. The differences in what was paid by investors and the amounts of wine purchased will run into the tens of millions.
    Hopefully Michael Palmice's warnings from many months ago were heeded by potential investors and no further monies were lost!

  11. The Liquidator can refer any potential criminal allegation such as fraud onto the police to investigate. However there has to be enough evidence to suggest a criminal offence has taken place. The Insolvency Service does not investigate criminality, the police or DBIS do. It will investigate misconduct on the part of the directors and have them banned by the court. Until such a ban is in place Gundlach is entitled to be a director of a company.

    I will add that for a criminal conviction to succeed an intent to defraud is required to be proven. This is much easier if large amounts of funds have not been used to purchase wines but instead used to fund a lavish lifestyle for the directors and its brokers, in addition to victims having been lied to about the value of their wines.

    However, if the only 'evidence' of an intent to defraud is that victims allege brokers told customers their wine was worth 10k when it was only worth 7k, thats much more difficult to prove. The defendants could argue that they didn't say that, or that you could have checked the real value online. If you were buying shares you would likely check the price on the ftse100 so why not check the price of your wine investment.

    My prediction is Gundlach will be banned, a criminal investigation will be taken forward by DBIS or the police but many investors will be out of pocket to the tune of many millions of pounds. Gundlach will keep his lambourghini, his audi, his 3m home and race horses unless he is is subject to a confiscation order after being found guilty of fraud.

    Whatever the result it will not happen for a minimum of 2 years and most likely 5 years.

  12. Do you know anything about Bordeaux Investment Wines?

    They are tweeting that they can help victims of Bordeaux Fine Wines

    Bordeaux Wines @BIWines
    If you have #invested through BFWines and are worried about your #wineinvestment we offer a free no obligation...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. No no - you're thinking of BWI. This is a new co called Bordeaux Investment Wines No mention of any personalities on website.

    1. Anon. You are quite right. My mistake, so I have deleted my comment. Bordeaux Investment Wines Ltd was founded in February 2013, so has no track record as yet, although the website claims that the staff have 'many years of experience' and as you say no mention of who runs the company plus claiming that wine is a tax-free investment. I wouldn't buy wine from them.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Anon. You are quite right. My mistake, so I have deleted my comment. Bordeaux Investment Wines Ltd was founded in February 2013, so has no track record as yet, although the website claims that the staff have 'many years of experience'. I wouldn't buy from them.