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Gusbourne Estate to float after £7m takeover

Published:  03 September, 2013

Gusbourne Estate is to join the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, following a £7 million takeover.

The Gusbourne Estate business and related freehold property in Kent will be acquired by Shellproof Plc for £7 million, which will change its name to Gusbourne Plc and its re-admission to AIM is expected to complete on 27 September 2013. The listing for £2.9 million is to fund expansion and development.

Andrew Weeber, owner and founder of Gusbourne Estate, will become non-executive chairman of the enlarged group. The agreement enables the Gusbourne brand to plant a further 100 acres of vines, as well as to construct a new winery and visitor centre.

The winery harvested its first vintage in 2006, which was released in 2010. At full production maturity, Gusbourne claims it will produce over 500,000 bottles of wine. There is to be a minimum of 16 full-time employees and more than a hundred pickers will be employed seasonally.

Andrew Weeber, the proposed chairman, said: "Our recent successes demonstrate the huge potential of the Gusbourne brand and I am very excited to be embarking on a new phase of business development and expansion. I look forward to working with an experienced and dynamic management team. I believe the prospects for the Gusbourne product range in the context of the growing market for English sparkling and still wines are excellent."

Gusbourne's new executive team will comprise chief executive Ben Walgate, winemaker Charlie Holland and vineyard manager Jon Pollard.

Walgate said: "I am delighted to lead such a talented executive team as we expand and grow the Gusbourne brand. I am also very much looking forward to working closely with our chairman, Andrew Weeber who has achieved great success with the business over the past 10 years.

"We see great opportunities for a brand of such premium quality. We will retain and continue the best practices that have been instilled from the very beginning at Gusbourne."