Wine Name:

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 apparently 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? – er 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!  

Update: 13.1.2017
Belgravia Alternative Asset Ltd changed its name to AG Assets Ltd on 24.12.14. The company was compulsorily struck off on 1.11.2016.

The enterprising Enver Deen appears to have returned to wine investment with ED Vintners based at a virtual office address in Mayfair – Suite 172, 2 Lansdowne Row, London
W1J 6HL. Think I'll pass, thanks!   

'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. 

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.

SJB Trading Ltd: 'Wealth of experience?' Firm 18 months old.

'Opputunities' – so important to build brand confidence!

'Our team have a wealth of experience 
developed over many years'

I have been contacted by several people in the wine trade concerned about SJB Trading Ltd contacting their clients offering to sell their wine portfolios. 

One example: 
'Please find attached information that is being sent to wine investors.

SJB Trading have somehow managed to obtain contact details of wine investors illegally. I have received phone calls from three investors I look after in the last week alone complaining about an unsolicited approach by this company..'

Although SJB Trading Ltd claims 'a wealth of experience' the company was founded on 12th December 2012. It has one director 38-year-old Stuart John Barnes. Barnes is the sole shareholder with £1.  Barnes has been a director of three other companies, which have now all been dissolved: Stone Plant & Waste Ltd (dissolved 2011), Sjbs Trading Ltd (dissolved 2009) and Flyteam Aviation Ltd (dissolved 2011).

The SJB Trading website was registered on 25th May 2015.

SJB website registered May 25 2014


'SJB Trading refers to the global organisation, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of the SB Group of companies| One Canada Square, London E14 5AB| Clive Avenue, Orford Warrington, Cheshire WA2 9NX' 

 'With a vast majority of our staff official wine experts 
(including 12 buyers and dozens of other regional specialists)'

Their website claims: 'Location: We are the leading independent fine wine investment company located in the United States. Although our services are open to foreign investors, our location within the United States allows us to meet the unique needs of American investors.' 

How many American fine wine lovers have heard of SJB Trading Ltd I wonder?

An example of an email from SJB Trading Ltd explaining their selling procees as well as their '27 years experience in the fine wine business':

From: scott.manns <>
Sent: June 2014

Subject: Further to our conversation

Dear ,

Further to our telephone conversation, as promised please find below my contact details. I have been a Buyer for SJB Trading for nearing two years and have a passion for fine wines. 

With over 27 years experience in the fine wine business, the Directors and senior management of SJB Trading Ltd are internationally recognized experts in purchasing of En Primeur Bordeaux wines and authentication.

SJB Trading Ltd instruct independent leading Accredited Wine Appraisers from all over the world.

SJB Trading Ltd will instruct appraisal of your fine wine collection for free and arrange for purchase of your properly stored fine wine and in some cases offers exceed the appraised prices! 

Here’s what to do next:

Step 1
Reply to this email with a list of your entire wines collection, highlighting the wines you are interested in selling.  Make sure to include your entire collection as a full appraisal will give a clear indication of your current value. Please provide all necessary information including producer, varietal, special designation, vintage, bottle size and number of bottles. Don't bother putting down wines you know have no demand - White Zinfandel, everyday wines, really old Chardonnays, etc.

You may also send a fax of your wine list to +44(0)20 7060 7418. Please clearly indicate your name and contact details marked for my attention.

Honestly indicate each wine's condition. If the label or capsule is smudged or damaged, we want to know about it. Most important is the fill level.  Tell us if the fill of the wine is below the neck, and if so, how far down the 'shoulder' it is. If there is any sign of seepage around the cork, or the cork protrudes more than a millimeter from the top of the bottle, or the wine level is below the top shoulder of the bottle, cross it off your list and look for another home - we can't take it. 

Step 2:
Upon receipt of your entire wine list, you will be automatically registered with SJB Trading. You will receive an email from containing your unique Customer ID Number. 

Step 3: 
We'll tell you what your wine is worth in today's market. Within a few days, we'll let you know the valuation compiled by the Accredited Wine Appraisers and what we believe it is worth to our international clients and distributor/wholesaler network.

Step 4: 
SJB Trading Offer. We will give you a competitive price for the fine wines contained on your list that our clients are interested in. If you are happy with the offer we proceed to pre purchase phase.

Step 5: 
Pre Purchase Phase. Your wine is underwritten and insured with independent insurance underwriters. You ship the wine to our bonded warehouse. SJB Trading will incur the transportation costs.
Our Client / Distributor / Wholesaler inspects the wine.  SJB Trading together with the purchaser will examine the said wines, in a secure bonded environment. If the condition or other important details are inaccurate, we will be in touch with you to reach a mutually agreeable resolution or will return the affected bottle(s). But this doesn't happen too often. Please be as honest as possible when submitting your list. If your list is not accurate or the quality of stock is poor, your wine will be returned and all costs incurred by SJB Trading must be paid with immediate effect.
Our Client, Distributor / Wholesaler confirms payment terms for the agreed-upon value of the wine, within about 5 business days of receipt of your wine. Usual payment completion is about 4-16 weeks after receiving the said wine (dependent on the quantity and value).

I thank you in advance for your swift response and look forward to receiving your entire wine list.

Kind Regards

Scott Manns

One Canada Square,
E14 5AB
T: +44(0)20 7060 4472 Ext: 305
F: +44(0)20 7060 7418

Screen shot of part of home page of 
Direct Investment Insurance
SJB Trading Ltd use Direct Investment Insurance to value wine portfolios. Direct Investment Insurance claims to be 'The Worlds Largest Investment Underwriters', although the website was only registered on 8th May 2014. 

Website registration: May 8 2014 

One part of the SJB website that is worth reading:

'information is not guartanteed to be accurate' 

'NOTE: SJB Trading does not offer financial advice nor are they regulated by the FCA. This website provides general information about SJB Trading Ltd and is not intended to offer investment  advice. Furthermore, the information on this website is not guaranteed to be accurate or current and is not sufficient to be the basis for sound investment decisions.'   

Permission to use this coat of arms?

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Insolvency Service: another way to complain@active companies


Get a suspicious cold call from a company offering investments in wine or to buy your wine or else offering carbon credits, diamonds, gold, land graphene etc? Then you can file a complaint with the Insolvency Service Hot-Line as well as through Action Fraud. It may well pay to complain to two separate Government organisations.

Then as well as filing a complaint with Action Fraud you can also file a complaint against companies that are still trading through The Insolvency Service’s Hot Line: 0845 601 3546 or This can lead to the company being investigating and, if found to be a threat to the public, it can be closed down and may lead to a criminal investigation and a trial as it did in the case of Nouveau World Wines and Finbow. 

Details here:  
If your complaint involves the conduct of a company or its officers you should contact the Insolvency Service.

The Insolvency Service is an Executive Agency of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Company Investigations team within the Insolvency Service has the power to investigate limited companies where information received suggests corporate abuse; this may include serious misconduct, fraud, scams or sharp practice in the way a company operates.

To complain about a limited company that is still trading:

Telephone: 0845 601 3546

Intelligence Hub
Intelligence & Enforcement Directorate
Investigation and Enforcement Services
Insolvency Service
3rd Floor Cannon House
18 Priory Queensway
Birmingham B4 6FD