With the growth of interest in whisky investment, I wouldn't buy casks or bottles of whisky from these companies.
From the FCA Financial Crime Conference (1st July 2013)
'The FCA receives over 4,500 reports a year relating to fraud, with the average consumer detriment reported to the FCA in excess of £1 million a month. Proactively tackling such scams as boiler rooms together with consumers becoming more savvy about new kinds of fraud has, however, led to a significant reduction in those who have contacted the FCA who have actually invested in such scams from 768 in 2011 to 97 so far this year. Current investment fraud concerns for the team include: pension liberation fraud; inheritance fraud; rare earth metals; diamonds; carbon credits and fraud relating to overseas land and property.'
Update: July 2015: apparently charitable fine wine buyers
Watch out for over-generous offers to buy your wines from cold calling companies ('magic circle vintners'. Particular targets have been clients/investors of now bust EFW (European Fine Wines) and APW. A quick check on wine-searcher will show how 'generous' and unrealistic these quotes often are. Targets tend to be told that the company has a special client in China, Dubai or elsewhere who needs the wine very quickly hence the generous price. Unfortunately once the wine is transferred out of the investor's account, the deal frequently goes sour and the wine disappears.
If the deal you are offered looks to good to be true – it's bad news!
Please note that this list is regularly updated, while the directory on www.investdrinks.org was last updated on 17th October 2008. Although the information was correct at that date, it does not reflect any changes subsequent to that date and there are no plans to update 'the directory' on investdrinks.org.
Frightening failure rate for the majority of these alternative investment companies. Many of these firms operated only for a brief period – either going bust, disappearing or being closed down either by High Court order or by Companies House for failing to file accounts etc.
1855 Fine Wine Investments Ltd: formed 3.11.2011 yet claims 'Generating consistent and long-term investment returns for its clients'. Joe Gene Delvaux (DOB: 3.11.1980) is sole director and sole shareholder (£1 sharecapital) capital
Update (4.12.15): The company's objective is to focus solely on the wine investments of its shareholders. Dissolved through voluntary strike off: 7.11.17
Update (4.7.14): Proposal for voluntary strike-off 13.5.14 – first gazette, voluntary strike off suspended 18.6.14.
Update (4.12.15): Annual return (since 31.8.2012) and first accounts overdue (since 3.5.2013).
22.3.2016: Dissolved through voluntary strike-off.
Arlington Wine Portfolios Ltd. Company established on 26.1.2010. Didn't trade in year to 30.11.11. Failed to file annual return on time leading to a complusory strike-off proposal on 5.3.2013, which was withdrawn on 12.3.2013 when return was filed. Director and address links with The London Vines Ltd. Has website but currently a holding page: http://arlingtonwineportfolios.com/
Arrin Solutions (Arrin Solutions UK PVT Ltd): Founded 7.3.2013. Sole director (Miss) Sujatha Vetrivel (DOB: 9.9.1978) No returns (overdue since 4.4.14) and no accounts (overdue since 7.12.14). Appears to hold substantial stocks of clients' wine in bonded warehouses for onward sale. Registered at 46 The Fairway, Banbury, Oxon OX16 0RJ.
Update (4.12.15): Both first annual return and first accounts are still overdue. 17 Nov 2015 First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off. Company dissolved 1.3.2016.
Artemis Bellet Ltd: Company incorporated in April 2010 dissolved 26th July 2011 no return or accounts filed.
AS Fine Wine – trading name of As Incorporated Ltd. Although company set up 27.7.2011, claims to be established with a good track record. Website gives no indication of who runs company and contact address is a virtual office on London's Regent Street.
24.2.2015: Looks like annual return was overdue as First Gazette issued on 3.2.2015 but was withdrawn on following day when return was filed.
4.12.15: accounts overdue since 31.10.2015. 11.11.2015 Voluntary strike-off action has been suspended
22.11.2018: Dissolved through voluntary strike-off
Aspire Commodities Ltd: Founded 3.9.2013. £1 share capital. Sole director 40-year-old Barry Christian Tomlinson also director of Ativa Capital Ltd. Both at 145-157 St John Street – registered and trading address, which is a well known accommodation address as well as that of a company formation agent.
Offers: fine wines, diamonds, self-storage and commercial property.
Quotes from website: 'Aspire Commodities is a specialist independent brokerage for Private Investors, Companies, Trusts and SIPPs and SASS's. Offering a comprehensive alternative investment service utilising extensive industry contacts, pre-approved buyers are able to take advantage of our unique opportunities.
Aspire Commodities employs a team of experts with a combined industry experience in excess of 50 years.'
Update (4.12.15): Compulsory liquidation petition 3.3.2015, start of winding up (13.5.15)
3.6.14: Date of Incorporation: 07/07/2006; Status: Dissolved 23/07/2013.
145-157 St John Street – registered and trading address, which is a well-known accommodation address as well as that of a company formation agent.
Offering: diamonds, wine, and carbon finance
Quotes from website: 'We are the UK’s largest natural Investment Advisors, making us the number one choice for any investor or potential investor.' – utter nonsense!
'Another very popular investment is Fine Wines, our expert brokers can find you the finest wines for the best rates, there has been a huge increase in fine wine investments since 2008.' – yes but there has been a bear market for the past two years.
'In fine wine, experience is essential. We believe that insightful advice can only be informed by first-hand knowledge. The three founding members, including one Master of Wine, have over 60 years of collective industry experience.'
'Our team of experts have a solid reputation within the diamond industry with over 60 years combined experience in Diamonds. At Ativa we have professional teams which combine an in-depth knowledge of mining, processing, grading, dealing and setting.'
'Ativa Capital are carbon trading experts based in The City of London. We give investors the insight to make lucrative trades on the carbon market and we help businesses offset their emissions cost-effectively.'
'The carbon market is going stratospheric. We’ll help you invest with confidence.'
But see warning issued by Financial Conduct Authority (13.9.2013):
Update (1.12.15): Compulsory liquidation Petition by Insolvency Service 3rd March 2015 Commencement of winding up 13th May 2015
Australian Portfolio Wines Ltd – There are relatively few Australian wines that can be considered for investment. Best to have a good knowledge of the wines and markets before investing.
24.2.2015: Changed name to APW Asset Management and going into liquidation. Ultimate parent Big Wine Company.
1.2.2012: Company uncontactable with a number of customers awaiting wines to be delivered to the bonded warehouse. Follow on company called Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd formed in August 2011. 27.2.2012: voluntary strike off application. 25.6.13: Proposal to strike off – no accounts or returns filed.
5.4.2012: Went into liquidation owing £1.5 million with apparently the only assets £30,000-£40,000 of en primeurs believed to be 2009s. Joint liquidation between Grant Thornton and Abbot Fielding.
Blakeney Bridge Wines Ltd: founded 10.6.2011 initially as London Wine Traders Ltd, changed name 6.10.2011. No accounts filed. Serviced/virtual offices. Company's wine prices are substantially higher than can be found elsewhere.
25.6.13: Accounts and returns filed.
18th November 2015: Blakeney Brdige Wines Ltd and seven other companies (carbon credits) wound up in public interest. Scam targetted the old and vulnerable.
Boltons Investments Ltd: founded by Vincenzo Tagliavia in 2006. Has gone into liquidation – early September 2013. Financial figures on Duedil suggest why the company become insolvent.
Bordeaux Claret Consultancy Ltd set up on 2.9.2013. 25-year-old Chris Vines is sole director. Registered office in Croydon, serviced offices in East London.
From website: 'For the last 25 years, we have been utilising our deep knowledge to structure and tailor strategic portfolios of fine wines within the Bordeaux region, helping both first time investors and long standing wine connoisseurs build their collections.'
Company's tax advice is not in line with current position as set out by HMRC:
Coverage in Mirror of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd. See also comments on an investdrinks post.
Gundlach is a keen race horse owner and Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd sponsored the 2012 ROA (Racehorse Owners Association) Horseracing Awards on 6th December 2012.
22nd June 2013: company's website is now up for sale*. Gundlach has now set up Bordeaux Merchants Ltd – incorporated on 29.5.2013. Registered office and trading address is given as 52 High Street Pinner Middlesex HA5 5PW. Is Bordeaux Merchants Ltd about to take over from Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd?
Gundlach is also a director of Invest in Storage Ltd, Capital Wealth Venture Ltd, Dmlg Ltd (provides leads), Driving Made Simple Ltd and Hunter & Reynolds Ltd:
From the net:
Hunter & Reynolds investments are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority
15th September 2013:Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd's registered office and trading address is now the Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon CR9 2ER. These are serviced offices run by Regus.
2nd January 2014: Following a petition to the High Court from the Insolvency Service, Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd was put into provisional liquidation in the public interest on 19th December 2013. The petition will be heard on 26th February 2014.
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'.
Bordeaux Merchants Ltd: see Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd
Bordeaux NZ: one man band (James Colley) based in Auckland, New Zealand with the only contact a cellphone. The website claims a team of consultants. Colley, however, admitted to the New Zealand Herald that this claim is a fantasy. Colley's only previous experience of the fine wine market was a seven month stint with UK based Capital Vintners Ltd – another company from whom I would not buy wine. NZ Herald article here. See here for answers James Colley gave to the New Zealand Herald from Bordeaux NZ's website.
'Bordeaux NZ is a fine wine investment brokerage firm based in New Zealand. We provide a simple and cost effective solution to trading investment grade fine wine as a commodity on the open market.
Bordeaux Wine Consultancy Ltd: Founded 26.1.11. Company website is vague about who runs company and their experience. Share capital: £1. Registered office originally in Bromley but registered office and trading address now in Soho Square is a serviced office and meeting rooms. Website claims profits from wine investments invariably free of capital gains and no mention of inheritance tax. Sole director: 32-year-old Paul Ricketts
18.11.2013: A mention of inheritance tax has now been added and CGT amended. Website claims 'years of expertise'.
Bordeaux Wine Consultants Ltd: Founded 29.10.2013. Dissolved 23.4.2013. No accounts filed. Directors included 34-year-old Dean Doughty and 38 year-old Matthew Hart (both Encarta Fine Wines Ltd)
14.2.14: accounts overdue since 30.9.13
4.8.2014: Company files for liquidation. Nedim Aliyan appointed liquidator.
ED Vintners appears in June 2016 with website registered by Tuan Deen – any relation to Enver Deen, I wonder. Letter to potential buyers signed by an E. Deen – an open and shut case perhaps?
Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd: This company and Capital Bordeaux Vintners share the same address – serviced offices at 68 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9LJ. (68 Lombard Street is a popular address for wine investment companies – also used by European Fine Wines Ltd.) Formed 24.4.2012.
Claims wine investment is tax free. Sole director: 24-year-old Scott Andrews
Cheap and nasty website.
Update: 5th August 2013: annual return is overdue since 22nd May 2013.
14.11.2013: annual return still overdue.
14.2.14: accounts overdue since 24.1.14
19.5.2014: Closed in public interest 14th May 2014 following investigation and petition by Insolvency Service to High Court.
Sole director is 26-year-old Dean Page. Proposal to strike off.
Update: Company dissolved 26.11.2013 – no returns or accounts filed.
Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Limited: founded 2nd October 2012 with 24-year-old Aaron James Ali as sole director. 19.5.2014: Closed in public interest 14th May 2014 following investigation and petition by Insolvency Service to High Court.
Capital Fine Wine Ltd: founded in August 2010 Website claims: 'When it comes to selling your wine or realising your funds, let Capital Fine Wine do all the hard work so you can enjoy your hard earned profits without any headaches.
Update 9.8.2013: company was dissolved 26.2.2012. Company had three directors.
Capital Fine Wines Ltd: Founded 3.7.2012. Sole director is 36-year-old Douglas Dalglish. Registered office: Dunwoody House, Willow Grove, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5BU. Duedil list this as the trading address. However, the company's website gives contact details at 37th Floor Canary Wharf – Regus serviced offices. No mention of director on company website and Liv-ex performance graph dates from August 2010. Claim: 'Our extensive list of contacts and the close relationships we have forged with our wholesalers and advisors help us to provide and unrivalled service to our clients. Company's first annual return is now overdue – 31.7.2013.
Dissolved 11.2.2014 – compulsory strike off – no returns or accounts filed.
Capital Fine Wines Ltd – Company with same name founded 2.12.14 dissolved – compulsory strike off 24.5.16. No returns or accounts filed.
Capital Vintners Ltd: Founded 1.7.05, dormant company until 31.7.08; unlikely claims on website.Serviced offices/accommodation address.
Castlegate Wines Ltd: This Bromley based company, briefly called Castlegate Ventures Ltd before returning to its former name (31.1.11), founded on 21st October 2010. Uninformative website and lack of any track record, claims a network of trade contacts: 'Castlegate Wines has a well established worldwide network of traders, châteaux and negotiants, merchants and traders.' 'Incredibly, all gains are FREE FROM CAPITAL GAINS TAX...!!!" Certainly incredible as this is incorrect. City of London address listed on website is virtual/service office.
Proposal to strike off. First Gazette published 4.6.2013. Earlier complusory strike off suspended in 2012.
Company dissolved 17th September 2013.
Chelsea Food & Drinks Vintage Ltd. Founded on 20.11.2012 and based at Vicarage House, 58-60 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4DB. Company No. 08299431. Another apparently charitable institution. offering to buy a client's half case of 1996 Haut-Brion for £1970 when Wilkinson Vintners list the same wine for £1425 – this being Wilkinson's sale price not their buy price.
Further details see blog post here
Update: 1st April 2014 Final Gazette dissolved via voluntary strike-off
22.6.13: Annual return overdue since 21.3.2013.
3.6.14: Annual return now filed. Registered office moved to SEARS BUSINESS CENTRE, 3-9 STATION STREET, SITTINGBOURNE, KENT ME10 3DU
25.1.15: annual accounts overdue since 30.11.15
17.8.2015: Court order to wind up company on petition from creditor.
26.8.2015: Louise May Brittain of Wilkins Kennedy appointed as liquidator
Cult and Boutique Wine Ltd: compulsory strike off – company dissolved 25.8.2015. Director: Enzo Giannotta (DOB: 28.8.1978).
Cult and Boutique Wine Management Ltd: Enzo Giannotta (DOB: 28.8.1978) Looks to be same company as above (compulsory strike off) just a slight change of name. Website was registered on 19.10.2006 Details to add. Enzo Giannotta – sole director and shareholder. Annual return overdue since 4.3.2016. To be updated
Update (August 2014): Olivier Gearing is no longer a director of Cult Wines Ltd. However, Cult Wines Ltd continues to make unlikely and optimistic projections on wine investments as well as some incautious recommendations to first-time investors.
The company's latest accounts (31.8.13) show net worth - 434.6K; current liabilities: 796K.
See also posts on blog about deal between collapsing Premier Cru Fine Wine Investments Ltd and Cult Wines Ltd. Clients of Premier Cru, who agree to go with Cult Wines Ltd, being charged a 5% management fee and their shortfall (from Premier Cru) of earlier and better Bordeaux vintages being made up with 2013 Bordeaux en primeur. You couldn't make it up! Largest known shortfall to date (25.8.2014) is £23K.
ED Vintners: Not a UK registered company. Website registred on 14.6.2016 by Tuan Deen. Enthusiastic email letter sent to potential buyers and investors on 13.1.2017 signed by an E. Deen. A close relation to Enver Deen of bust Canarf Wharf Vintners Ltd, perhaps?
2013: Accounts overdue from 31.3.2013. Annual return overdue since 21.7.2013.
14.2.14: proposal to strike off – first gazette 3.12.13. Dissolved 18.3.2014.
Electus Wines Ltd: the return of Simon Ford (Morgan Aston Ford and Vinance plc). See post here. Company dissolved via voluntary strike-off 14.6.2016. Accounts: 2014 - £7492 (loss), 2015 - £1024 (loss)
'The fact that an investment in the wine market remains free from Capital Gains Tax is yet another attraction, this is due to its classification of ‘a wasting asset or chattel’ i.e. we would expect the wine to be consumed within fifty years.'
Update (11th August 2015): Company Check gives its current worth as £2069 – assets £11,496; liabilities £13,172. Your Wine Auction Ltd now dissolved (9.9.2014) as is My Wine Broker Ltd (6.5.2014). Share capital now £100 – 50% held by Karen Ann Bishop 50% by Steven Garry Bishop.
10.1.2016: Cancellation rights under Terms & Conditions out of date and not in compliance with 2013 Consumer Contracts legislation.
Accounts to 30.6.15: profit of £278.
Update (3.5.2017): My Wine Broker Ltd compulsory strike-off – 6.5.2014. Your Wine Auction Ltd compulsory strike-off – 9.9.2014. Dissolved 9.9.2014.
This month investdrinks was approached by XY for comments on two Hogsheads of Macallan that Elite were offering as an 'investment'.
Details of the two casks:
Macallan 1993 Hogshead
Cask price - £340,000 (inc 5% management fee)
Macallan 1988 Hogshead
Cask price - £690,000 (inc 5% management fee)
It is believed that these two casks are Bourbon casks rather than Sherry casks. It is Macallan in Sherry casks that is particularly valuable and sought after.
As with their wine offers Elite Wine and Whisky's prices for Macallan casks are decidedly 'high end' with poor prospects of the investor making a profit. (Update to be completed – to include details of auction prices and other estimated prices.)
(Update: Carbon Energy Resources Ltd was dissolved on 27th February 2015.)
Job ad for Carbon Energy Resources Ltd:
'Organization Name: Carbon Energy Resources Ltd
Our primary aim is to service our clients within this Carbon Credit financial market by maximising their potential of making good purchases with profit. We cannot stress this enough… we generate large profits for our clients day in day out. That’s our job after all. Carbon Energy Resources Ltd is a great organisation to part of for both clients and staff alike.
The right candidate must present a fluent well-spoken command of the English language and have excellent time keeping.'
Update: February 2016: Elliott House Collections Ltd went into liquidation on 9.12.2014. Nedim Aliyan of Abbott Fielding the liquidator.
Embassy Wine UK Ltd: Founded 28.6.2011. 17 Ensign House, Admirals Way, London E14 – accommodation address. Sole director is Jonothan Piper.
Update: 15.8.2013:accounts overdue since 30.6.2013, annual return overdue since 26.7.2013.
14.11.13: Voluntary strike off suspended (2.10.2013)
3.12.14: Company shut down in the public interest.
7.1.2016 Winding up complete but dissolution of company deferred until 17.11.2027.
Update: 9.8.2013 – annual return now again overdue 6.8.2013.
14.11.13: annual return and accounts now filed.
Current registered office: 3rd Floor, 2007 Regent Street, London W1B 3HE – mailbox address:
'Welcome to our Regent Street mail address services section.
We provide the opportunity for companies, businesses and individuals to use this prestigious London W1 location for mail forwarding and as a registered office address.'
Trading address: St Georges House, 2 Bromley Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 5JE
5.7.14: Ceased trading? Company website is now unavailable.
12.8.14: In liquidation. Liquidator: Nedim Patrick Ailyan. Dissolved 30.4.2020.
Ethical Elegance Ltd: Company founded 25.10.2006. Dormant accounts to 31.10.2011. Registered office changed 5.3.2013 to 145-157 St John Street, London – a well known accommodation address, mail forwarding and virtual office. 30-year-old Craig Philip O'Driscoll appointed director 5.3.2013. Ethical Elegance Ltd's website claims to have been trading for over seven years, despite accounts being dormant until end of October 2011. Claims expertise in diamonds and exchanging assets – wine, diamonds, art, gold and silver. 'With over 100 years combined experience in the industry' is an unlikely claim from website. 'Here at Ethical Elegance we use a fully regulated FSA company to handle all of client’s money for a smooth efficient transaction.' No mention of the FSA regulated company. Furthermore the FSA no longer exists. Companies are now regulation by the FCA (Finanical Conduct Authority).
14.11.2013: This briefly active company went into voluntary liquidation on 29.10.2013. Dissolved 15.11.2016
14.7.2013: Two European Fine Wines Ltd directors have been banned from being directors for 11 years each. They are: David Evans (DOB: 28.5.1953) banned from 10.7.2013 to 9.7.2024 and Scott Assemakis (DOB: 15.1.1980) banned from 8.7.2013 to 7.7.2024. They both resigned as directors of European Fine Wines on 28th June 2013. On the same day Assemakis and Evans also resigned as directors from Sawa Wines Ltd (registered and trading address: 68 Lombard Street) formed 6.6.2012 – original name – European Fine Wines (2012) Ltd. Annual return is now overdue: 4.7.2013.
European Fine Wines Ltd has been mooted as a possible candidate for membership of the WIA (Wine Investment Association).
Details see Tony Hetherington Mail on Sunday (14.7.2013):
The Government-run Insolvency Service has scored half a dozen new victories in its fight to ban dodgy directors from the boardroom.
I talked to Farr in 2010 and warned investors to steer clear. He was marketing investments without a licence from the Financial Services Authority and advertised his business, Claremont Forbes Land & Property Limited, as a leading company even though it was only six months old. It went into liquidation a year later after raking in £944,000 from the public without keeping proper records. Insolvency Service investigator Mark Bruce describes the size of the unexplained deals as ‘highly suspicious.’
Update 22.5.2014: Accounts overdue since 30.11.2013. Registered office moved to 131 Edgware Road, London W2 2AP on 16.4.2014. Rumoured to be closing down.
25.6.2014: Into voluntary liquidation. Liquidator: Nedim Patrick Ailyan.
21.12.19: Company still in process of liquidation. The detailed annual reports from the liquidator can be found on the Beta Service, Companies House.
Gregory Niall Assemakis (DOB: June 1985) has set up new wine investment vehicle called IWS Management & Consultancy Ltd https://iwsmc.ltd/. It was incorporated on 8th October 2018 with £100 share capital by a Colombian woman who resigned the same day. Gregory (or Greg) Assemakis is the sole director.
FCF Associates Ltd trading as FCF Investments. Founded 10.10.2011. Two directors: 38-year-old Matthew Simon Guy and 34-year-old Steven David Carruthers. £2 share capital. Guy and Carruthers have a share each. Ludicrously optimistic projections on over-priced wines. 15% service charge!
Update: 15.12.15:Complaints regarding lack of communication and long delays in selling wine. Last accounts (31.3.2020) show company doing minimal business.
17.5.2013: Trial of four accused started at Southwark Crown Court. The trial covers both Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow. The accused are Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling, Rebecca McDonald and Simon Dempsey. They face various counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The trial is expected to last some 10 weeks.
Update: Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling and Rebecca McDonald found guilty and jailed. Simon Dempsey found not guilty.
Company dissolved: 17.7.12. Have received several messages from investors saying they haven't received wines they ordered.
The website and phones of Fine Wine Solutions based at Level 18, 40 Bank Street (HQ3), Canary Wharf, E14 5NR – serviced offices – appear to be still in operation even though the company is dissolved. The company's brochure can be downloaded with the company number (05382056) shown.
According to the website:
First Capital Financial Ltd – trade as First Capital Fine Wine Investments – Company set up 10.10.2011. Using Lix-ex logo without permission. Tax advice wrong especially on Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax. Nonsense claim inside knowledge of what Robert Parker's scores on particular wines will be in the future.
Name changed to FCF Associates Ltd 30th April 2013.
French Wine Exchange Ltd: Incorporated on 4th April 2012. Directors: Joe Williams (18.6.1986), Amir Nour-Eldin (DOB: 3.7.1985), Share capital: £100 but purely nominal as none paid up. A number of unhappy customers. Reports of not being able to contact the company. Offered 2012 and 2013 Bordeaux en primeur as an investment. Not surprisingly investors are now sitting on a loss.
Update: 30.11.15: Joe Williams and Amir Nour-Eldin resigned as directors on 19th November 2015. David Howlett (DOB: April 1967) appointed as director on 19.11.2015. Not currently selling wine. Company got into 'some financial difficulty' with 'examples of client funds being used to sustain the business in its growth'. New director may be considering changing the company name.
5.4.2016: First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off
9.4.2016: Compulsory strike-off action has been temporarily suspended following an objection to the strike off.
20.3.2018: Dissolved by compulsory strike-off
Global Fine Wine Ltd (annual return overdue since 1.9.2010). Dissolved 22.3.2011
Global Wine Exchange Ltd: Founded 17.4.2018 (co no: 11312862).
Director: Adrian Loftman DOB: April 1975. Share capital £1. Address:
Kemp House, 152 - 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX. A virtual office.
Website claims 'over 10 years in industry'. 'Our team brings 10 years of experience working in the wine industry and can offer a service that provides in-depth analysis and insight into the wine market.' That may be but no details given. Trainee-Junior Wine Brokers expected to make between 200-300 calls per day. Reports of cold calls – July/August 2019. Offering information on wine sold through Bordeaux Wine Company – dissolved. Offering to sell putative clients wine to an overseas buyers if they buy more wine. Putative client sent invoice for wine they did not order.
I very much doubt if they have an access to wine sold by BWC and I would ignore any calls from this company.
Global Wine Investments Ltd: set up 12.4.2011. Directors: Michael Wilson and James Hamilton. Wine list used on Global's site is actually that of Albany Vintners Ltd (a reputable company set up in June 2003) and used without Albany's knowledge and permission. 17.8.2012 – Company has disappeared without supplying customers' wine. Wilson is also linked with Omera Limited (now dissolved) and with Omera Ltd (two versions dissolved).
Dissolved: 7.6.2014 – no return or accounts filed.
Founding and current sole director is 33-year-old Leon Hawthorne, whose other directorship was Hawthorne & Hawthorne, which was dissolved 14.12.2010 and based at
5.9.2013: Proposal to strike off. Accounts overdue since 30.9.2012 and return since 21.9.2012.
3.6.14: Compulsory strike offs suspended but voluntary strike off gazette 22.4.2014.Dissolved 5.8.2014
Henderson & Forbes Ltd. Founded 23.10 2013. 21-year-old Joseph Jordan sole director. £1 share capital. Address: 29th Floor Canary Wharf, London – well known accommodation office address.
Quotes from website: 'We bring a fresh approach to a historic market and via our great knowledge, invaluable network and impressive buying power we can safely say you will be impressed with the professional service we have to offer.'
'Our passion for diamonds spans more than 70 years (!! - Jim), drawing on a heritage going back over generations. As a result, we have the expertise required to help you design the perfect piece of diamond jewellery, as well as the contacts and experience to ensure we can realise your personal vision.'
Doubtless diamond geezers but I certainly wouldn't buy from them.
24.2.2015: in liquidation since 11.8.2014.
Update: 1st December 2016 from Insolvency Service:
An investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit found Mr Jordan to have caused Henderson & Forbes Limited to misrepresent itself to investors in the sale of fancy coloured diamonds. These misrepresentations led to investments totaling in excess of £1.5 million generating gross profits in excess of £1.3 million.
Update: 17.4.2014 – proposal to strike off for non-compliance.
22.2.2015: new proposal to strike off. No accounts or annual returns filed.
14.4.2015 Dissolved via compulsory strike off by Companies House
HKIC Group: warning issued against this company by Hong Kong financial authorities. See: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/hong-kong-monetary-authority-hkma-warns.html
Howard & Web Ltd: founded 21st March 2014 with one director 41-year-old Nigel Ricketts. Registered office is 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AX – a virtual office and mail forwarding facility.
Update – 1.12.15: dissolved by compulsory strike off. Later director: Nigel Ainsley Ricketts (DOB: 2.2.1973)
Imperial Collectables Ltd: cold calling. Founded: 8.10.14. Directors: Nicola Jane Surin (DOB: 12.1980), Surin is sole shareholder £1. Related to Noel Surin?
Registered office: 40 Station Approach, Hayes, Kent, United Kingdom, BR2 7EJ
14.11.2017: Dissolved voluntary strike off
Now called: Imperial Wine & Spirit Merchant Ltd (changed name on 10.1.2017)
Founded 21.5.08 Benjamin Cazaly now sole director. £1 share capital (Benjamin Cazaly). Trading and registered office address: 60 Gresham Street London EC2V 7BB (serviced office). Net assets (31.5.2014) – £684,733.
Barry Gamble a previous director from 21.5.2008 to 6.1.2009
11.11.15: job ad:
Ben Cazaly was also the sole director of Imperial Wine Shop Ltd a £1 share company founded on 27th March 2013. Dissolved by compulsory strike-off on 3rd November 2015.
Update (30.9.19): Accounts to 31.5.19 overdue since 28.2.19. Confirmation statement due 21.5.19 overdue since 4.6.19. Imperial Wines' website up for sale. Compulsory strike off by Companies House announced 30.4.19 but suspended on 8.5.19. Looks like the company has ceased to operate.
IWS Management & Consultancy Ltd: It was incorporated on 8th October 2018 with £100 share capital by a Colombian woman who resigned the same day. Gregory (or Greg) Assemakis is the sole director. Address: 1st Floor Wimpole Close, Bromley, England, BR2 9JF. First accounts for this company are due on 8th July 2020. Website: https://iwsmc.ltd/
Greg Assemakis was a director of bankrupt European Fine Wines, which went bust in 2014. He was appointed on 25th June 2008 and resigned on 26th February 2014 – the day after the company went into voluntary liquidation.
The iwsmc site makes no mention (see below) that Gregory Assemakis was a director of bankrupt European Fine Wines. To be fair I have received no complaints about this company and Gregory Assemakis has his profile on the site. However, I would advise putative customers of iwsmc ltd to read the the liquidator's reports on European Fine Wines Ltd
From iwsmc website:
- To provide the outstanding customer service that clients recommend to friends and family.
- Working hard every day to make us the best fine wine merchant respected in the industry.
- To grow the business and in doing so giving back to wider society by supporting ethical charity work.
- To value our people as our friends and family encouraging their development and rewarding their personal performances.
- To be personally accountable for delivering company commitments.
- To create new connoisseurs of fine wine and support customers in meeting their aims to discover products to their taste.
- To create unique engagement with future collectors and admirers across the world especially in Asia.
- To uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions.
- To work together across boundaries to meet customer needs and help the Company win.
- We will assist the protection of our threatened environment by utilising such methods as we can to reduce our carbon footprint.'
Our team are conscientious, friendly, adaptable and keen to deliver a highly personal service to fine wine connoisseurs and collectors.
We act in strictest confidence charging reasonable and competitive fees and sales commission to deliver for you.
24.2.2015: proposal to strike off suspended. Accounts overdue since 28.8.14 and annual return since 24.12.2013. No returns or accounts ever filed. No current directors. Dissolved 19.1.2016
Kingsley Judd: Claims to be one of the 'leading Bordeaux wine traders specialising in investment grade French wines'. No indication where the company is registered – certainly not listed at UK Companies House. Addresses given in Hong Kong, France and UK – all serviced or virtual offices. Infers links with leading UK auction houses.
Le Bordeaux Wines Ltd. Founded 9.10.12. 25-year-old Jonathan Charles Braybrook sole director. Registered office and trading address 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7RS – serviced office. Annual return overdue since 6.11.13.
14.2.2014: A 25-year-old man in London has been arrested by Staffordshire Police, so far, on suspicion of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud. around £1 million believed to have been invested in wine through the company.
Anyone who has fallen victim to Le Bordeaux Wines Limited, or has had any contact with the company, is urged to contact DC Chris Pope at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 258 of 9 December 2013, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Braybrook is also the sole director of Le Bordeaux Wine Shed Limited founded on 5.10.12, also at 88 Wood Street. He is also a director of Jb Trading & Co Ltd with its registered office and trading address at 11 Burns Road, London, SW11 5AD. Both of these companies are in the process of being dissolved.
24.2.2015: dissolved 15.7.2014
22.9.2015: Jonathan Charles Braybrook admitted fraud (over £1 million) and sentenced to five years in prison.
Liquid Exchange London Ltd: incorporated 7.10.2014. Sole director 29-year-old Lee Barry Wright (DOB: 10.1986) of 8 Netherfield Road, London, England, SW17 8AZ sole director and shareholder with £100 share capital. Le Wright was involved with Finite Futures Ltd formed 13.10.2014 with Adam Knowles (DOB: June 1981), an airport driver of Brighton as sole director and shareholder (£100). Finite Futures Ltd proved to be decidedly Finite as it was complusorily dissolved on 29th March 2016 – no returns or accounts filed.
investdrinks covered Finite Futures Ltd on 6th February 2015. A follow up Google search shows that Andrew Penman covered Lee Wright in an article on Finite Futures Ltd here (27th May 2015). Liquid Exchange London Ltd's registered office is 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, England, W1B 3HH – Regent Street Mailing Address Services. However, Liquid Exchange London Ltd may trade from premises in Richmond. The Liquid Exchange London Ltd website was registered on 2nd July 2015. Wright failed to file the company's first annual return on time and on 5.1.2016 a First Gazette was published to compulsorily strike off Liquid Exchange Ltd. Wright filed the return on 30th January 2016 and the strike off notice was withdrawn. Website appears to have no Terms & Conditions listed.
London Commodity Exchange Ltd: Incorporated 19.11.2010. Listed as a dormant company with accounts made up to 1.12.2015 (filed 2.12.15). Two directors – East India Company and Harsh Jain (DOB January 1979). Registered at Suite 444, 19-20 Crawford Street, London, England, W1H 1PJ. Claims share capital of £1 million. Harsh Jain is director of 25 companies – many with share capital declared at £1 million, while Adani Power Ltd (dormant company with accounts made up to 1.12.2015) has share capital of £100 million.
Reports of an elderly man who bought wine through the now bust Encarta Fine Wines Ltd being contacted by London Commodity Exchange Ltd: 'He has been approached by London Commodity Exchange plc, offering to sell his wine if he transfers money upfront for legal fees to a swiss bank account.'
Company now dormant.
London Wine Brokers Ltd Founded 17.9.08. Dissolved 4.5.10 No return or accounts filed
London Wine Futures Trading Ltd, Founded 1.9.10. 2 Bath Place, Rivington Street, Old Street, London EC2A 3DR – serviced office. Dissolved: 24.4.2012 London Wine Shop Ltd: Founded 4.8.09. evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies. Richard O'Shea (DOB: 12.1959). Annual return overdue since 7.11.2015. Compulsory liquidation on petition by creditor – 11.1.2016. Liquidators: The Official Receiver London, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 2HT; Nigel Ian Fox, Highfield Court Tollgate, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3TZ;
Nedim Patrick Ailyan, 142/148 Main Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6NZ.
5.7.14: Annual return overdue since 29.3.2014. Proposal to strike off.
22.2.2015: in liquidation (24.9.2014). No accounts filed, annual return overdue since 29.3.2014
Lynch & Mullin, LLP: Sophisticated advance fee fraud – details here. http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/warning-lynch-mullin-llp-shares-in.html
Marquee Vintners Ltd: Incorporated 16th May 2014. Dr Wei Hu (DOB: 19.11.1963) is the sole director. Contact address is a serviced office in Covent Garden. Nominally a £1 share company – nothing paid yet. Company claims to 'specialise in large vintage wine acquisitions'.
13th June 2015: first return overdue.
15 Sep 2015: First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off. 29.12.15: struck off.
Mayfair Worldwide Trading Ltd (first posted 22.11.2013): founded 14.8.2013, sole director 32 year old Adam Edwards (no previous directorship experience), serviced office address in Mayfair. Claims to be 'Trusted Worldwide' – remarkable achievement in just three months. Looks to offer asset exchange for coloured diamonds as well as graphene. Cold calls.
Problems with graphene investments
Also offering to exchange wine for graphene:
One potential client phoned out of the blue and offered £6800 worth of graphene for wine being listed for sale on wine-searcher for £3900.The wine had been bought from European Fine Wines. I would hang onto my wine – this deal doesn't add up. Asset exchange or an asset strip?
Update: 28 Apr 2015 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off
28.7.2013: Current director is 26-year-old Atalay Mustafa, who is also a director of Liquid Assets Management Ltd.
Montevino Partners – Montevino Partners Ltd + Spirited Ventures Ltd: Montevino Partners Ltd was incorporated on 17.4.2014. Thomas Roger White (DOB – 18.4.1979) is the sole director. £1000 share capital – £950 Thomas White, £50 David Parker. Accounts for dormant company to 30th April 2015 filed 11.1.2016. Montevino Partners is trading name of Spirited Ventures Ltd. Company was incorporated on 19.7.2013. Thomas White (app: 6.5.2014) is now sole director. Previous sole director – John Ellis Jeffrey, the previous sole director, resigned on 28.5.2014. Share capital £1000 – £250 Thomas White, £225 Bilhar Singh, £250 David Parker, £100 Adrian Nurse, £115 Michael Wilson, £35 Peter Pipe. The website was registered on 9.1.2014. There are no Terms & Conditions on the site.
Although Mr Moore asserts that Manor Rose had no inter-relationship with the other companies such as Dakota, it is apparent this was not so as the provisional liquidator has reported that Manor Rose paid Mr Michael Moore, Mr Moore’s brother who was responsible for the Dakota sales staff, the sum of £224,900.37 on 4 November 2010. Despite requesting an explanation from Mr Moore, through his solicitors, on 12 March 2012, Mr Moore has yet to respond.
8.8.2016: Voluntary liquidation. Deficiency: £691,326.93
15.8.2016: High Court order to wind up Spirited Ventures on petition by HMRC – uncontested.
Montevino Partners Ltd started up briefly but went into voluntary liquidation (to be finished)
Update: Vinance PLC in liquidation
Murdoch & Chase is not a UK limited company. Does have a glossy but uninformative website (full of vacuous puffery but no meat) – no mention of who is involved in the organisation etc.. Website was registered on 29th May 2013. Funnily enough Murdoch & Chase Asset Management is also based at Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN. They claim to be experts in 'stagnant asset release'! Under investigation by City of London Trading Standards. Have been contacting clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd.
Noble Rock Partners. See: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/noble-rock-partners-or-claremont.html
Noble Vintners Ltd:
8.6.2011: founded. Initial registered office: 9 The Square, Loughton, Essex IG10 2FE. Office moved to: Fleet House 8-12 New Bridge Street London EC4V 6AL and then Tulip House 70 Borough High Street London SE1 1XF.
Doesn't live up to its name – colds calls and over-charges on wines plus over-optimistic valuations. Ask for a brochure and you get a call from persistent telesales person demanding details of your existing investments. Serviced office at London Bridge. Website: mainly vacuous guff. Inaccurate information on Capital Gains Tax – some wine is subject to CGT. No mention or directors and no Terms & Conditions.
Went into voluntary liquidation on 22.6.2017. Nedim Aliyan appointed liquidator on 5.7.2017. Sole active director Kevin Eagling (DOB: March 1962) appointed 2.11.2015. Previous directors: David Cooper (DOB: March 1983) app: 20.5.2015; resigned 27.8.15. Sonny Edward Soper (DOB: June 1983),app: 8.6.2011, resigned 10.7.2013.
Eagling's statement of affairs (15.6.2017) shows a deficiency to 'consumer creditors (I think he means individual investors) of £1,686,785.80 with £10,774 owed to trade creditors and £974 to HMRC. It looks safe to assume that the nearly £1.7 million owed to individual investors is wine that investors paid for but which was never bought.
20.10.10: company In liquidation and under police investigation. A number of arrests made, those arrested on bail.
16.4.2012: five charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Similar charges for five in Finbow Fine Wines.
17.5.2012: Trial of four accused started at Southwark Crown Court. The trial covers both Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow. The accused are Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling, Rebecca McDonald and Simon Dempsey. They face various counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The trial is expected to last some 10 weeks.
Update: 22.7.2013 – Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling and Rebecca McDonald found guilty. Simon Dempsey not guilty. Daniel Snelling a serial fraudsters involved in other dubious investments – biofuels and diamonds – after his arrest.
Optimum Fine Wines Ltd, founded 9th July 2012. Sole director 21-year-old Harry Mosley (appointed 1.9.12). Its registered office is New Bond House, 124 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DX but it actually trades from Croydon. Cold calls and aggressive sales tactics reported. No mention of director on website, no registered or trading address shown. Claims to have 150 full time staff and 'several years combined experience in fine wine' – wonderfully vague.
27.2.14: Optimum Fine Wines Ltd will sell you five cases of wine for £10,000 that can be bought elsewhere for only £6155. Details to follow. Profitable business for Harry Mosley but thins investors wallets!
19.4.2014: Harry Mosley resigned as director on 15th February 2014. He has been replaced by 18-year-old Liam Garrett (financial controller)!!
Harry Mosley may have found the secret of eternal youth: a 32-year-old Harry Mosely was appointed director of Prestige Fine Art Collections Ltd on 22nd April 2013. The company was dissolved on 11.2.2014. 32-year-old Harry Mosely's birthday is in December as is 22-year-old Harry Mosely. Could they be the same person, I wonder?
19.5.2014: Company website has been unavailable for some weeks. Accounts overdue since 9.4.2014.
29.7.14: application for voluntary strike off.
Accounts overdue since 9.4.14 and annual return since 6.8.14.
Update (10.12.15): 21 Apr 2015 First Gazette notice for voluntary strike-off
3.4.2018: dissolved by voluntary strike off.
Paramount Vintners Ltd: Founded 21.8.2012 (co no: 08186646). Sole director Croydon based Marvin Roberts (DOB: Dec 1985). Accounts to 31.8.2018: £3559 loss. Accounts to 31.8.2019: £28,500. I employee normally this includes any directors.
Penketh Developments Ltd – Penketh Associates is a trading name. Founded December 2002 but dormant company until December 2013. Falsely claiming to have taken over liquidation of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd from Grant Thornton. Details here:
16.5.2017: dissolved via compulsory strike off.
Portcliffe Capital Ltd: Founded 11.12.2012 as 1st Law Ltd. Accounts for dormant company filed to 31.12.13. Share capital £1. Director: Daniel White (DOB: 18.7.1975). Appointed 9.12.2014 of 1 Kingsley Road, Croydon CR0 3NP Previous director Darren Symes. Share capital – £1 held by Daniel White. Changed name to Portcliffe Capital Ltd on 10.12.14.
15.11.2016 – Dissolved by compulsory strike off.
Premier Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd. Same address as now defunct Premier Bordeaux Wines (London) Ltd. Founded 3.12.09. Sole director is 44-year-old Jennifer Scorey. She was also the sole director and company secretary of the defunct Premier Bordeaux Wines (London) Ltd. However, Premier Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd was a vehicle for serial scamster Spyros Constantinos. As Spyros Constantinos is disqualified from being a UK director from 21.7.2008 to 20.7.2017 he would appear to be illegally acting as a shadow director here.
Update 9.8.2013: Company is under investigation by Tower Hamlets Trading Standards. A first gazette to dissolve the company was published on 6.12.2011 but the dissolution was suspended on 15.2.2012.
Apparently linked to Sophelna Ltd – founded 2.11.2012; dssolved 9.7.2013. Sole director: Emmett Gerard Joseph Lenaghan. Lenaghan was a director of Parker Knoll Upholstery Ltd and is currently a director of Julian Bowen Ltd (appointed 1.7.2010.
Update June 2015: Spyros Constantinos was found guilty of fraud and acting as a director while disqualified after a trial at The Old Bailey. Sentenced to eight years.
24.2.2015: long history of late filing at Companies House. Accounts overdue since 31.12.14
Update: 30.5.2018: I continue to receive complaints from investors who have apparently been over-charged or who have not received in full the wines they have ordered. They also allege bullying tactics by the sales staff during phone calls.
1 May 2018: First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off
Anyone contacted by Wynn XS Ltd should read these posts first before investing:
The secret tricks of wine cold callers revealed - and how boss bottled it when confronted
I invested nearly £2,000 but have I been stung by a wine investment scheme?
4.11.15: annual return overdue since 7.10.2015
8.12.15: First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off
Also Samuels & Parker Wines Ltd: Lewis Samuels is sole director and shareholder.
23 Feb 2016: Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off. No return or accounts ever filed.
29.4.2013: the company appears to have disappeared. Website domain up for sale and phone number not recognised.
24.6.2014 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off. No accounts ever filed
SAWA Wines Ltd: formerly European Fine Wines (2012) Ltd. Founded 6.6.12. Name change 20.9.12. Directors: Gregory Niall Assemakis (DOB: 25.6.1985), Jonathan Ross Barr (DOB: 18.7.1981) Previous directors: Scott Assemakis, David Evans – both disqualified from acting as a UK director.
Share capital: £1 - Scott Assemakis
29 Jul 2014: Final Gazette dissolved via voluntary strike-off
Select Bordeaux Ltd: Founded 28.10.09. Registered office is virtual – a telephone answering service.
17.1.2014: Sole director is is 29-year-old Salman Rahman. Both the accounts (since 31.12.13) and the annual return (25.11.13) are overdue.
27 Jan 2015 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off
SJB Trading Ltd: company founded 12.12.12, 38-year-old Stuart John Barnes sole director, share capital: £1. Claims 'wealth of experience' plus '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.'
24.2.2015: Proposal to strike off. Accounts overdue since 12.9.14 and annual return since 9.1.2015
Update 30.5.18: 10.11.2015 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off. No accounts ever filed
Speed Associates Ltd: founded 9.12.2002 but dormant at least until 31.12.2013. Steven Dhadda sole director and shareholder (£100,000 capital). Company cold calling creditors of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd – with false claims of selling wine to BFW and have taken over liquidation from Grant Thornton, who have declared Speed Associates Ltd 'a scam'. See: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.pt/2016/07/speed-associates-ltd-warning-from-grant.html
Any complaints should be registered with Action Fraud.
12.4.14: Annual return overdue since 20.2.2014. Dissolved: 9.9.2014.
Stanford Barclay Ltd: founded 19th September 2013. Sole director 28-year-old Billy Stevens. In addition to wine brokering offers investments in gold and natural rubber and previously graphene. Stevens is also a director of Brinkmann-May Ltd. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) issued a warning against Brinkmann-May Ltd in February 2013 for unauthorised trading. Further details on Stanford Barclay Ltd here.
Compulsorily dissolved: 5.5.2015. No returns or accounts ever filed.
The London Vines Ltd: founded 26.1.2010. Barry Gamble (DOB: 19.7.1980) director from 26.1.2010 - 9.4.2013. Robert Phillips (13.11.1970) 9.4.2013 - present. Phillips is also known as James Morrison (DOB: 13.11.1970) a director of wine investment company Henry Talbot's of London Ltd – founded 20.9.2002 and dissolved in 12.6.2006. Morrison may have changed his name to Phillips as he was aopparently banned from acting as a director at the time. £800 share capital @£1 a share (as of 26.1.2013): Barry Gamble (100), Sylwa Phillips (400), Amanda Kennedy (now Gamble) (100), Karen Richardson (100), Bridget Richardson (100).
13.12.12: Now at 13 Holywell Row, London EC2 4JF. A google search notes that: 535 companies also use this postcode, this is probably a mail forwarding service address.
31st July 2013: The London Vines Ltd seems to have disappeared, apparently having failed to buy all of the wine that its clients ordered.
For much of the company's
The London Vines Ltd has two directors: 33-year-old Barry Michael Gamble (appointed 26th January 2010) and 42-year-old Robert Phillips (appointed 9th April 2013) – Phillips was a director of Arlington Wine Portfolios from 15th March 2012 to 14th May 2013. Gamble was a director of Imperial Wines of London Ltd from 21st May 2008 to 1st January 2010. investdrinks understands that Gamble and Phillips are blaming each other for the collapse of the company and the failure to buy sufficient wine.
In liquidation (31 October 2013) with remarkable unhelpful liquidator: Alisdair James Findlay, Findlay James, Saxon House, Saxon Way, Cheltenham, GL52 6QX. Joanna Wallace, who is dealing with the liquidation even rebuffed offer of assistance from The Insolvency Service.
8.12.2015: Barry Gamble in Croydon Court at 11.30am for 5 minute creditor's application.
8.12.2015: Barry Gamble declared bankrupt. See: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/barry-gamble-declared-bankrupt-croydon.html
Update 30.5.18: Company in liquidation (11.1.2016) on petition from creditors. Liquidators: Ned Ailyan and Nigel Fox.
Creditors' Claims to the Official Receiver totaled £4.4 million excluding any money due to HMRC. However, by 9th March 2018 the liquidators had only reeceived claims totaling £1,040,331 exc HMRC.
13.3.19: Update to add
Update (2.12.15): 20 Jan 2015 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off
UK Agora Ltd:(further details to add)
Now called Viticult Ltd – name change 5.9.18. Sole director: 37-YO Jamil Harris. Also deals in whisky.
Sole director: Kirsty Britten (London SE1 – DOB: 2.1970)
Changed name to UK Fine Wines Ltd. Brief life as dissolved on 5.1.2011. No returns or accounts filed.
UK Vintners (of London) PLC (09508939) Incorporated 25.3.2015. Directors: Peter Anthony Solle (DOB 15.1.1956) and Charles Brodie Agutter (DOB: 8.6.1982). At incorporation Solle the sole shareholder (£50,000 with 25% paid up). 18.7.2016 statement of share capital £50,000 (£37,500 unpaid) held by Anthony & Son Acquisitions & Holdings. Registered and trading office: Amp House, Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom, CR0 2LX. Cold calls.
Company featured in an article by Andrew Penman in the Mirror (5.3.2016).
In the last three accounts filed (to 31st December) for 2016, 2017 and 2018 the auditors have issued warnings of 'material uncertainty related to going concern' as the assets of UK Vintners (of London) and less than their liabilities. The accounts to 31.12.18 show a turnover of £6,903, 541 with a gross profit of £1,261,275 this compares to a loss of £580,616 in 2017. However, payments due to creditors in one year amount to £1,425,202, so liabilities exceed assets giving a net loss of £599,963. This compares to a net loss £833,238 for 2017.
In his notes (2.2) on the 2018 accounts (dated 4.10.19) Solle expressed confidence that 'the financial performance of the Company in the twelve months following the approval of these financial statements will be strong enough to support the the Company's cash flows.' The auditors were not convinced: 'Our opinion is not modified in respect to this matter' – 'may cast significant doubt on the Company's ability to continue as a going concern.'
It remains to be seen whether Convid-19 has affected the financial performance of UK Vintners (of London) PLC. Certainly it will have been impossible to run their fine wine dinners in central London. If and when they restart there will presumably still be social distancing that will limit numbers.
There is now an associated company UKV International AG based in Zug, Switzerand with 'support office' at Amp House, Croydon.
(See also Vintage Bordeaux Ltd based at Amp House – sole director Michael Joseph Solle (DOB: 12.1981).
UKV International AG was formed on 20.1.2016 with Italian Paul Constantin Gheorghieu as the sole director. Gheorghieu is the president of STAX AG, a company formation, company adminstration and tax advice business based in Zug at Bahnhofstrasse 21, CH-6300 Zug, Switzerland. Share capital:
Share capital: CHF 100,000.00. Payment of share capital: CHF 50,000.00. Shares: 100 registered shares at CHF 1,000.00. On 10.12.18 Gheorghieu resigned with Andrea Elia replacing him. Elia from Bremgarten, which is a little to the north of Zug. She is involved with a number of other companies including Libra Trust AG and Swiss Global Trust AG. On 3rd February 2020 it was recorded that Peter Anthony Solle had become the chairman of directors with Elia remaining in post.
Their website uses reviews dating back over a year or more so clearly relating to UK Vintners (of London) PLC and not UKV International. Michael Solle (director of Vintage Bordeaux Ltd) features in a number of the reviews. There is no mention of Peter Solle. Bahnhofstrasse 21, CH-6300 Zug, Switzerland is given as the company's head office with Amp House in Croydon as the trading office or UK Support.
UKV International AG claims that profits on wine investment are not subject to capital gains tax. The true position is not quite so simple. See HMRC advice and this article by Philip Whitcomb.
Vanguard Trading UK Ltd founded 18.6.2012 Shan Wang (DOB: 9.2.1973) sole director £100 share capital (Shan Wang)
Registered office: Unit 2 Southside Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD. Frtom website: , Hurst Street B5 4TD
See London City Bond scam letter – Vanguard Trading UK Ltd and John Gough.
See other comments on Vanguard here. Recovery room scam – wine and carbon credits
Veblen Wines Ltd: Over optimistic tax advice (from their brochure*):
Another of the incredible advantages of this market is that in the UK there are no taxes on profits made and there is no upper limit to investments made in fine table wines. This equates to TAX FREE PROFITS. Fine wines are also considered to be ‘wasting assets’ which therefore are not subject to capital gains tax. Investments in fine wines therefore are CAPITAL GAINS TAX FREE. This makes an investment in fine wines different from many other investments, allowing you to keep your profits.'
Duedil currently lists the company's book value as - £68,871 GBP
https://www.duedil.com/company/06756983. Its sole director is 32-year-old Lazare James Morel.
17.10.12: latest accounts again overdue since 30.6.2012.
21.10.12: Charge well above going rate for First Growths from lesser vintages.
16.11.12: went into administration. Herron Fisher appointed. Deficit not yet known.
17.5.2013: went into voluntary liquidation. Herron Fisher appointed, who kept me informed of progress.
Update from Chris Herron (23.10.14):
Director Simon John Ford (current address: Ontario, Canada) banned as UK director from 29.1.2015 to 28.1.2023.
Company dissolved: 6.12.2016.
Vin & Co: Trading name. Director has poor track record. Previously H&R Vintners Limited and City Wine Traders Ltd. Details to add.
We expect all candidates who wish to apply to be; Target Driven, Money Hungry and Hard Working. Experience in telephone sales is essential, however training is provided. Candidates with a proven sale's track history will have a much greater advantage in being successful.’ (Knowledge of fine wine not mentioned but previous experience of cold calling presumably an advantage.)
- Opener’s duties include: calling up and pitching new prospective clients explaining the benefits to investing within the fine wine market, start to build a trusting relationship with the client.
- Closer’s duties include: calling up prospective clients who have expressed an interest to invest in the fine wine market from the conversation with the opener, explaining the market in more depth and closing the deal.
- Loader’s duties include: up selling and maintaining clients as well as informing them of any market trends and movements within this arena.
28.11.13: appear to be more efficient at selling wine to their clients than selling wine for them.
24.8.16: Change of name to VCL Vintners Ltd 16.7.2016.
25.7.2016: Change of registered office from St Clements House, 27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE to 107-11 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AB.
Current directors (as of 11.8.2017): Timothy Paul Ashley(DOB: August 1982) appointed 23.9.2015. Stuart Mcleod (DOB: Oct 1990), appointed 301.2017.
13.3.2019: now VCL VINTNERS LIMITED - name changed 16.7.2016
Vino Bay Assets Ltd: cold calls.
28.7.2013: currently two directors: 71-year-old Norma Elizabeth Stone and 69-year-old Yohai Abraham.
Update 8.9.12: Laurence Adams resigned as a director on 29.8.2012. On same day Grant Burberry was appointed as director. Octavian has closed Vin Bordelais' bonded warehouse account. Vin Bordelais is now using EHD bond.
Went into voluntary liquidation on 18.2.13. Liquidators Nedim Allyan (Sidcup) and Alexander Kinnmouth (Eastleigh).
Vintage Bordeaux Ltd (07093434): set up 2.12.2009. Initially registered at Kings Parade Lower Coombe Street Croydon CR0 1AA. This was changed to Imperial House, 21-25 North Street, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1SD on 17.12.12. The company did not trade during ys/e 31.12.10 and 31.12.11, so started trading in 2012. Registered office changed on 15.9.14 to Amp House Dingwall Road Croydon CR0 2XA. According to Duedil Vintage Bordeaux Ltd has a book value of minus £1,024. Michael Joseph Solle is the only director and the sole shareholder – £100. He is also a director of M.J.S. Consultancy (London) Limited. Solle is believed to have worked at Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd, where apparently he preferred to be called Joseph Stanley. The East Croydon address is conveniently close to BFW's former trading premises, so a number of old friends may have been reunited. Company cold calls, offering a case (12 bottles) of 1995 Mouton-Rothschild at £4620. Apparently no website.
Update June 2020: Proposal to strike off company for non-compliance has been suspended since 15th February 2019. Accounts to 31st January 2018 have been overdue since 31st October 2018. Confirmation statement due 1st April 2019 overdue since 15th April. Accounts filed for 31st January 2017 and 31st January 2016 show losses £288,385 and £280,120 respectively. Company appears to be in suspended animation. See also UK Vintners (of London) PLC (09508939) and UKV International AG.
Vintage Bordeaux London: not a registered company. Address: Portland house Bressenden Place London SW1 (likely to be accommodation only with firm based elsewhere). Charged an investor £40,465 for a portfolio of wines that could have been bought elsewhere for £21,960.
Vintage Bordeaux Wines Ltd:Incorporated 18.3.2011.Registered office: 68 King William Street, London EC4N 7DZ. No accounts filed – overdue since 18.12.2012. Annual return overdue since 15.4.2013. Proposal to strike off with First Gazette issued: 27.8.13. Sole director is 34-year-old Mark Oscar.
Update: compulsory strike off suspended: 24/09/2013. 25th Nov 2014 company dissolved via compulsory strike-off. No accounts filed.
6.11.12: liquidator appointed. Liquidator's first report (28.11.13) noted that creditors' claims received totalled £923,320.58. Liquidator did not anticipate making any payment to unsecured creditors. Liquidator took successful legal action against Ofori Duah for wrongful traiding – £775,000. Ofori Duah was made bankrupt on 9.11.2015 as couldn't pay debt. Liquidator then claimed £791,744 but was informed by Insolvency Service that there was no prospect of any payment. Company dissolved 28.5.17
Read more at: http://companycheck.co.uk/director/915889974/MISS-MICHELLE-JANE-HOGBEN
Read more at: http://companycheck.co.uk/director/914861737/MISS-MICHELLE-JANE-HOGBEN
Read more at: http://companycheck.co.uk/director/914861737/MISS-MICHELLE-JANE-HOGBEN
The company founded on 10th July 1989 as Nerigrass Ltd, changing its name to Safety Watch Ltd (11.10.89), to Kestral Holdings Ltd (20.12.91) and to Vin-X Ltd on 10.3.2010. It has been run since 1990 by Peter Shakeshaft. The company's accounts were dormant until 31.3.95 with the first full set of accounts covering the period to 31.3.96.
The background in 'stockbroking' is unfortunate as a number of those involved in Vin-X Ltd were also involved in Wills & Co Ltd (fullname: Wills & Co Stockbrokers Limited), which was censured by the FSA and later closed in the High Court.
Update 10.3.17: Walter Chase Ltd compulsorily dissolved: 27.12.2016. Chase & Walter Ltd also compulsorily dissolved: 1.11.16 – no accounts or returns filed. Matthew Boatwright's Investment Broker London Ltd has also been dissolved compulsorily – 29.3.2016. Boatwright does not appear to have the magic touch with companies....
Wellington House Collections Ltd. Founded 20.9.2013. £1 company with sole director 46 year-old Steven Allum – also a director of Prestige Wealth Collections Ltd founded 19.9.2013. Wellington House offers investments in art and wine. Graphs on wine section of site stop at December 2011, so don't show recent fall in prices. Both companies registered at 124 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DX – a well known accommodation address. Neither Wellington House Collections Ltd nor Prestige Wealth Collections Ltd has a track record to date (11.3.2014).
Update: Wellington House Collections Ltd dissolved via compulsory strike off 12th May 2015. No returns or accounts filed. Directors: Steven Allum and Frederick Hempley. Prestige Wealth Collections Ltd dissolved 5th May 2015 – no returns or accounts filed.
Update 9.7.14: Company went into liquidation on 27.6.2014. Liquidator Nedim Ailyan. Deficit £232,326. No accounts ever filed.
Update 1.3.16: Jeff Berrill disqualified as a director for 12 years.
Winchester Associates Ltd: Although founded on 21.8.2006, company (£2 share capital) was dormant at least until end of 2014 – last accounts filed are for a dormant company. Probably remained dormant until around late February/March 2015. Current director is Christopher James Brummitt (appointed 24.2.2015). Website was registered on 13.3.2015. Serviced office address. Despite this history website gives impression that Winchester Associates Ltd has been active in the fine wine trade since 2006.
Update (10.3.17): company struck off compulsorily - 20.9.2016.
Wine Asset Ltd: Amazingly high prices for ordinary Bordeaux wines with no investment potential. See warning on This is Money Company registered in Belize.
Details of associated company – Wine Direct International Ltd now in liquidation to add.
Update: 24th Dec 2013 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off
Wines World Wide Ltd: incorporated 1st July 2013. Registered office: 23 Admiral House, Rivergate, Peterborough PE1 1ES, United Kingdom – given on 192 as an address for Paul Freeman but not on Electoral Roll. Sole director: 48-year-old Paul Freeman (DOB: 9.9.1964). Paul Freeman also is the sole shareholder with 100 shares@£1. (May well be the return of Peterborough's favourite son after spells in Rotterdam, Monte Carlo and Tamarin in Mauritius.)
Wines World Wide Ltd should not be confused with Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd.
Update (17.8.2014): annual return overdue since 29/07/2014.
Company dissolved on 10.2.2015 – compulsory strike off.
Sole director – Paul Freeman (DOB: 9.9.1964) declared personally bankrupt on 21.5.2015. Last known address: 1 Oswald Road, Peterborough PE2 9RY. Lately of 23 Ave Des Capitaives, Mauritius
Winnington Fine Wines Ltd: set up 23.1.2012 but claims already (7.3.12) to be a 'leading wine broker' with 'a long term history of impressive returns'. Claim an storage account with London City Bond – no account with LCB (7.3.2012).
June 2013: company disappeared some time ago. Proposal to strike off – First Gazette published 21.5.2013. Appears to have bought some but not all of the wine ordered by its clients. See post here: Dissolved: 12th November 2015
Woolf Sung Ltd: Company founded 29.6.2012.The sole director is 33-year-old Sebastian Joseph Woolf. Woolf learnt his craft with European Fine Wines Ltd – now bust with debts of £2 million. He was one of two senior managers at Europeans Fine Wines Ltd – with Sean Dineen responsible for running the trading teams. See story in The European 10.2.2012.
Woolf Sung Ltd cold called a number of clients of the disappeared The London Vines Ltd. Many of these people would have been elderly. Rather different from what he told The Drinks Business in August 2014.
“A six bottle case of the 2002 Salon Cuvee is currently worth £1,650 and we are predicting a 10% growth in the next 12 months,” said Sebastian Woolf founder and CEO, Sebastian Woolf, who set up the company in 2012 with the aim of targeting young fine wine investors via under the radar wines and vintages.'
How did Sebastian Woolf and Woof Sung Ltd get their contact details?
Update August 2014: now touting Champagne as the next wine investment – covered by The Drinks Business and wine-searcher magazine.
29.6.2020: Company name changed to Woolf Drinks Ltd.
World of Wine Ltd – from the same stable as bust En Primeur Ltd. En Primeur Ltd, sole director Marco Correia, went bust with debts that eventually totalled £2.4 million. World of Wine Ltd was founded on 3rd December 2015. Ana Sebastiao is the sole director and shareholder. Same registered and trading office as En Primeur Ltd. Marco Correia is the registrant for the new website.
Uses same wording as En Primeur Ltd to promote advanatges of buying en primeur.
See: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.pt/2016/02/rearing-phoenix-part-1-world-of-wine.htmlon rearing a phoenix.
Update 30.5.18: 07 Nov 2017 First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off, cancelled 6.1.18. Micro accounts to 31.12.16 show debts of £9341.
29.2.2019: Dissolved through compulsory strike off
Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (dissolved 28.9.10 on voluntary strike off)
Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (Mark 2): Founded 28.3.2007 as Clearpoint Trading Ltd. Changed name 15.10.2010. Dormant company accounts made up to 31.3.2010. Milton Keynes address is virtual office. Cold calls, no track record for en primeur sales. 'These so called "investment-grade wines" from the Bordeaux region are finite as the 1855 French regulation restricts vineyards expansion.' What '1855 regulation' would this be?
28.7.2013: Proposal to strike off for non-compliance: accounts overdue since 30.6.12 and annual return since 8.3.13. Company has had a number of directors including 43-year-old Geraint Jones and 46-year-old David Nicol (14.11.2013 - now 47 years old).
23.10.2013: Police arrest three people (including one 47 year-old man) in Essex in connection with their over a year old investigation into the company. Arrests made on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. Suspects on police bail. Clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd have been contacted by Murdoch & Chase and Spencer & Elstein Ltd.
Dissolved: 1st July 2014
Worldwide Wealth Collections Ltd: founded 11.7.2011. See Mirror investigation here. In liquidation – liquidator appointed 5th March 2013. Sole director was 44-year-old Nicholas Jones.
Liquidation: Abbot Fielding and Grant Thornton
Wynn XS Ltd: (co no: 05827238) new company name for Prime Trading 5 Ltd (5.5.2015) – still at same address in Sidcup. Aaron Scott-Britten (DOB: May 1989) sole director. Threats of compulsory strike-off action from July 2017.
Page last updated: 7.4.2021