BrewDog criticised for investor protection provision
A Scottish brewery which is inviting its fans to become shareholders has been criticised for not providing an appropriate level of protection for its investors.
Craft beer company BrewDog is currently trying to raise £25 million in capital through its fourth release of shares — an initiative it calls Equity for Punks — and has reportedly raised £5 million so far in this campaign alone.
BrewDog, which is Scotland’s biggest independent brewery, already has over 14,500 ‘equity punk’ investors.
BrewDog co-founder James Watt previously said in a statement that interest in the unique investment initiative was “proof that there is a thirst for alternative finance out there, and that people are sick and tired of the fat cats controlling everyone’s money”.
He added: “Crowdfunding should no longer be seen as a niche alternative, but a proven, workable option for those libertines and change-makers who want to shake up the status quo.”
However, the company has come under fire from the UK Crowdfunding Association, who say anyone can invest in the platform “without needing to be categorised or pass an appropriateness test”.
The organisation has written to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to argue that crowdfunding offers should be conducted on regulated platforms under the FCA’s oversight.
The letter notes that BrewDog admitted making mistakes when communicating its latest offer and suggests that tighter governance of these kinds of capital-raising measures is required.