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Saturday, 7 February 2015

APW Asset Management Ltd into administration or liquidation? Letter from Chima Maduabuchukwa


Letter (see below) sent by Chima Maduabuchukwa, sole director of APW Asset Management, to clients of APW Asset Managment undated but investdrinks understands it was sent out in mid-December. Maduabuchukwa announces that Quantuma LLP in Marlow will take day to day control. No record at Companies House for the the moment that the company is either in administration or liquidation.

45-year-old Chima Maduabuchukwa was appointed director of APW on 16th July 2014. He is based the Bahamas at F-40393, Regent Centre Suite 1A, Explorers WA, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas.

The Drinks Business has an excellent report on the current situation at APW Asset Management Ltd. See here

See also Tony Hetherington – Mail on Sunday on 10th January 2015 on 75% loss on a £5000 wine deal.  
More to add.  

From: Chima Maduabuchukwa

'Dear Sir/Madam, 
Following the successful introduction of the finest Australian wines to the UK market over a decade ago, APW has always endeavored to offer wines focused predominantly on high quality and low production, both for distribution and bedding down for potential capital growth along with a high standard service match. 

Our vision has always been to service our customers as effectively and efficiently as possible. We will be the first to admit that this has not always been achieved, especially over the last few years with the global recession affecting market conditions and in turn the level of customer satisfaction we aimed to provide.

Starting with an initial 5-year plan to achieve a high number of sales. This was achieved successfully and continued for several more years. We envisaged the collective purchase of wines would place our customers in an ideal position to reach a wider audience in the secondary market. Thus, allowing our customers to exit the wine market profitably and trouble-free.

In 2008 the global recession affected businesses from all sectors globally. The wine market was no exception. Within the fine wine sector the more speculative new world wines were some of the hardest hit, and although we had always expected prices to return as the market works in cycles, this has not been the case. Due to the strains of the recession, the demand for secondary market sales has far exceeded our projections by several multiples and has put a considerable strain on our resources and our ability to once again deliver at the level we had hoped.

Under the tenacious stewardship of my predecessor, APW sort new avenues in order to meet the high customer demands for secondary market sales and have been able to achieve reasonable success through trade affiliates in China and through UK auction houses as well as online auction and retail sites. 

Unbeknownst to most our customers, at the height of the recession, our founder and premier supplier based in Australia passed away unexpectedly, forcing a reorganisation of the business. In order to move forward, APW had to reconcile orders and consider an alternative direction into 1st Cru Bordeaux and Super Tuscan wines. Another unexpected occurrence was the closure of the Colonial Estate vineyard, which APW had heavily invested with.  This meant we were in short supply of a vintage allocation that was already secured to APW. It also had a huge effect on the development of our secondary market where the funds were diverted from expanding our trade options to replace a consignment of wines that we hadn't receive. 

Due to these constraints APW has been in talks with a major wine investment and asset management consortium looking to add Australian new world wines to their portfolio. APW has been in discussions for several months with and are pleased to inform you that the imminent acquisition of our client base will hopefully be announced in the New Year. This is good news for those customers looking for more secondary market presence and further reaching trade affiliates, as this is exactly what will be available once acquisition is concluded. 
In the mean time, it is with a heavy heart that we inform you that we will no longer be advising and managing your day to day and will be passing all management of APW affairs to Quantuma LLP of 81 Station Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 INS. 

APW views this as a necessary step towards safeguarding all our customers' positions and assets held under our management. It is also in many ways a progressive step towards hopefully finally delivering our initial vision of a full circle one-stop-shop service to trading the world's finest wines, ensuring all elements are optimised for diversification.
Yours Sincerely,
C. Maduabuchukwu Director


  1. Jim

    Please can you report on UK Agora, as they're displaying all the hallmarks of another upstart rip-off merchant, as per a information available on the excellent Drinks Business article listed above and also through their own (grammatically and factually questionable) website. Why these losers continue to use Regus serviced offices is beyond me!


    1. Anon. Thanks. I will be doing so – on the case. UK Agora uses 'brokers' who used to be with APW and are offering to sell some Australian wines at well above the market price.

      At least one APW client has been approached by Jamie Ellis of UK Agora Ltd offering to sell them wine as they ‘are more reputable than APW’. UK Agora Ltd was set up in April 2014. Ellis was previously a broker with APW. On 22nd January 2015 Ellis offered £2500 for six bottles of 2009 Penfolds Grange including a 10% brokerage fee. wine-searcher shows that a six bottle case can be bought for £1560 from Berry Bros & Rudd.

  2. Agora website was running yesterday but it's down today. Hopefully they've disappeared before they could do any serious damage.

  3. When I last looked APW Asset Management was 5% owned by Enzo Gianotta, the director prior to Maduabuchukwa and 95% by The Big Wine Co. Should anyone know who that is it may hold a few more links to guilty parties!

  4. Correct. The Big Wine Co Ltd is not UK registered. The company number is #0059904.