Craft brewer SAMPLE Brewing collapses into administration, urgently seeks buyer
Thursday, May 16, 2019/
Melbourne-based independent brewery SAMPLE Brewing is in the market for a buyer after bringing in administrators earlier this week.
The business, stocked by hundreds of bars, pubs and bottleshops — including Dan Murphy’s and Liquorland — handed over control to Shane Cremin of Rodgers Reid on Tuesday.
SmartCompany has confirmed Cremin is trading the business “as usual” through an expression of interest campaign. It is hoped a buyer will be found willing to take on the business as a going concern.
“We’re working hard to try and achieve a sale,” Cremin told SmartCompany on Thursday morning.
Several parties have already lodged initial interest in the business, while founder and director Vedad Huric is also considering whether to submit a deed of company arrangement proposal to regain control of the company.
Cremin said he was unable to provide a perspective on the circumstances that led SAMPLE to administration, but that the business has about $300,000 in debt on its books.
Huric is one of the largest creditors in addition to several customers and suppliers.
SAMPLE was negotiating with potential buyers as late as last week, but talks fell through, leading to the business being placed into administration.
Founded in 2014, SAMPLE quickly rose to prominence riding on Australia’s independent brewery wave.
In late-2017, the business announced plans to become one of the first Australian companies to undertake equity crowdfunding, partnering with Birchal.
Speaking to SmartCompany at the time, Huric said he wanted to give customers an opportunity to own a slice of the business.
“It’s not that hard to raise capital — there’s plenty of money in Australia. This is more of an opportunity for us to build our community,” he said.
But soon after, the crowdfunding plans fell through, and the raise was cancelled before any investment was committed.
The company booked $2.3 million in revenue for the 2016-17 financial year after inking deals with 500 stockists in its first three years of operation.
SAMPLE had nine employees when it raised funds in 2017, but SmartCompany has confirmed only four remain on the books today.
Broadsheet reported in an advertorial last August the business employed eight staff.
SAMPLE is still filling orders for the moment, but if a buyer is not found, the company may be forced to wind back its operations.
Notice of a first meeting of creditors is expected to be sent out today as Cremin focuses on preserving the company’s existing assets.
Expressions of interest for the business close on May 24. Cremin says his preference is to sell the company as a going concern, but left the door open to selling it for parts.
SmartCompany contacted Huric for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.
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