English winery Chapel Down is considering a sale of the company as it finds new ways to build long-term growth.

In a statement released today (25 June), the sparkling-wine maker said it would “consider all alternatives” including “a sale of the company” as it conducted “a strategic review of the options” with an aim to boost profits.

It also intends to assess “investment from existing shareholders, investment from new shareholders… and other relevant transactions”.

The move comes as the group looks to support future investments in new vineyards and a purpose-built winery, due to be complete by the 2026 harvest. It also plans to inject an unknown sum into developing its brand home in Tenterden, Kent.

“Considering the timeline of these investments, the board believes that it is now appropriate to review the full range of long-term funding options that support this plan”, the vintner said in a statement.

It added that it was still “on track to deliver double-digit sales growth in 2024”, and “has reached agreement in principle” to increase its present £12m ($15m) debt facility.  

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The company declined to provide Just Drinks with additional comment at the time of writing.

In the full year to 31 December 2023, Chapel Down booked 15% growth in net sales revenue on 2022, to £17.2m.

Operating profits were up 81% to £2.3m, while adjusted EBITDA increased 87% at £5.4m, helped by “profitable trading” and an adjustment to grape prices following a record 2023 harvest. The winemaker said the year had been “profitable at all levels”.

Chapel Down harvested 3,811 tonnes of grapes, its highest amount to date. These made up for around 3.4 million bottles. More than two million of these were to be used in its sparkling wines. This figure was an 86% increase on 2022 (2,050 tonnes) and 75% higher than the company’s 2018 record (2,173 tonnes).

Earlier in April, Chapel Down said it saw growing potential in rosé wines as it continued to home in on its sparkling-wine segment.

It booked a 47% increase in sales volumes of its traditional-method rosé wine last year, at 262,000 bottles.

Speaking to Just Drinks at the time, CEO Andrew Carter said: “Clearly in the sparkling space, whether you are at the Moët (Champagne) end or the Prosecco end, there’s a real consumer demand for pink sparkling.

“From a production point of view, we make our traditional brut and rosé in very similar ways. They all build into our mid- to long-term plans in terms of continued growth, based in itself from consumer demand.”

In light of its successful 2023 harvest, as well as boosting its sparkling range, Carter said the group was looking to sell 30-40% more still wines this year, as well as growing volumes of its “gently carbonated” wine, A Touch of Sparkle.

The company announced its exit from the spirits category at the start of 2024, following a 7% net sales revenue decline in 2023 year-on-year.