Saturday, 25 January 2014

Camden Brewery's 1895 prospectus

A few years ago I couldn't have imagined anything duller than a company prospectus from more than a century ago. That was before I noticed what a good source of information they could be.

This is a good case in point. It's the prospectus published by the Camden Brewery when they issued extra shares to raise capital to buy more pubs in 1895. See if you can spot the useful information.


The SUBSCRIPTION LISTS will OPEN on THURSDAY, the 21st March. 1895 and will CLOSE for Town and Country at or before Four o'clock on the Same Day.

THE CAMDEN BREWER COMPANY (Limited), Incorporated under the Companies Acts. 1862 to 1890, £4.25 per Cent. first Mortgage Debenture Stock, £150,000. SHARE CAPITAL.

15.000 Five per Cent. Cumulative Preference Shares of £10 each    £150,000
(10.000 only of which it is proposed to issue at the present time, the remaining 5,000 being reserved for future issue, and ranking pari passu With the present one.)
12,000 Ordinary Shares of £10 each     120,000
(All of Which were issued as fully paid up on the incorporation of the Company, and are all held by the original shareholders.)

PARR'S BANKING COMPANY and the ALLIANCE BANK (Limited). 4. Bartholomew-lane. E.C, and its London Branches, are authorised to RECEIVE APPLICATIONS for the Debenture Stock and Preference Shares.

The Debenture Stock will become payable on the 1st day of March. 1940. at par, but is redeemable, at the Company's option, on or after the 1st day of March. 1920, at £110 for each £100 Stock.

The interest on the Debenture Stock is payable half yearly, on the 1st March and the 1st, September in each year; and the dividends on the Preference Shares are also payable on the same dates for the periods ending respectively the 30th June' and the 31st December. The first payment of interest and dividends, calculated from the due dates of the instalments, will be made on 1st September, 1895.

The dividends on the Preference Shares are cumulative, and the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company provide that the Preference Shares shall have priority over all other Shares of the Company, both as regards dividend and capital.

The Preference Shares are to be paid for as follows : —
On Application    £1 per Share.
On Allotment     2     "
On 1st May, 1895    2     "
On 4th June, 1895     5     "

The Debenture Stock, is to De paid for as follows: —
On Application    £10 per cent.
On Allotment     20     "
on 1st May, 1895    20     "
On 24th June, 1895    60     "

Payment in full may be made on Allotment, subject to discount at the rate of £2 10s. per cent, per annum.

Trustees for the Denture-holders.
William Stacey. Montacute House, Tunbridge Wells.
Montague Wootten, The Bank, Oxford.

John Whitaker, Herbert E. Wootten, Thomas R. Grimwood, Harry Brown.

BROKERS.- Steer, Lawford. and Co.. 3. Drapers-gardens, E.C.
SOLICITORS.— Routh. Stacey. and Castle. 14, Southampton-street. Bloomsbury. W.C.
Auditors.— Broads. Paterson, and Co., 1, Walbrook, London, E.C.
SECRETARY.— Lindsay H. Chittenden.
Registered Office — Camden Brewery. Hawley-crescent. NW.
BANKERS.— Parr's Banking Company and the Alliance Bank (Limited).

The Company was formed in the year 1889, with a view to facilitate family arrangements, and then acquired the valuable and well-known Brewery business established in 1859 by the late firm of Garrett, Whitaker, Grimwood, and Co., with the extensive Brewery premises situate in Hawley-crescent, Camden Town, where the Company have since carried on the business. The books of the Brewery have been regularly audited by Messrs. Broads, Paterson, and Co., chartered accountants, and their certificate is as follows: —

"1. Walbrook. London. E.C.. 21st February. 1885.
"To the Directors of the Camden Brewery Company (Limited), Hawley-crescent, Camden Town, N.W.
"Gentlemen. — "We have audited the books and accounts of your Brewery for many years past, and certify that the profits for the three years ended 30th June, 1894, without charging interest and Directors' salaries and fees, but after providing for wear and tear of every description, for bad and doubtful debts, and depreciation of leaseholds and buildings, have been :—

"1891-92    £20,099 19 3
"1892-93    20,051 11 9
"1893-94    20,016 17 4
    £60,168 8 4
"Being an average of    £20,058 2 9

"The details and adjustments are shown in the schedules attached to the accompanying Report.
"Yours faithfully.

The Freehold and Leasehold Properties and fixed plant belonging to the Company have been valued by Messrs. Mason and Son at    £195,472 0 0
The loans on mortgage and advances to customers are    95,940 4 2
And the stock, book debts, rents, cash at bank, and other loose assets are    37,007 14 2
Total, exclusive of goodwill    £328,419 18 4

Messrs. Mason and Son's report is as follows :—

"To the Directors of the Camden Brewery Company (Limited).
"Gentlemen. — We have personally inspected the properties of the Camden Brewery Company (Limited), consisting of the Leasehold Brewery situate in Hawley-crescent, Camden Town, with the fixed plant, the Leasehold maltings at Fulham, and the 84 Freehold and Leasehold public and beer houses and other property, as set forth in the schedule annexed hereto, and we value the same at the sum of one hundred and ninety-five thousand four hundred and seventy-two pounds (say £195,472). This sum does not include any amount for the general goodwill attaching to the business.
"Yours faithfully, MASON and SON.
"61, King William-street, E.C, March 6, 1895."

A copy of the memorandum and articles of association of the Company, of the form of the Debenture Stock Certificate now proposed to be issued, the form of the trust deed, and the form of the certificate of the Preference Shares, as well as the auditors' and valuers' reports referred to, can be seen at the Offices of the Company, or at the offices of Messrs. Routh, Stacey, and Castle, the Solicitors to the Company, 14, Southampton-street, Bloomsbury.

Prospectuses and forms of application can be obtained there, and at the offices of tho Solicitors and Brokers to the Company.

Besides the contracts entered into on the formation of the Company which have been already carried out, and for placing the present issue, the only contracts of the Company are contracts such as have been made in the course of the Company's business. All subscribers shall be deemed to have notice of all the above, and to have waived the necessity for specifying in the Prospectus the dates and names of the parties or the particulars of any such contracts.
London, 19th March, 1895."
London Standard - Wednesday 20 March 1895, page 8.

Let's see how many you spotted.

First is who the directors were. Amongst the names are two Whitakers and one Grimwood. remember that the firm was originally called Garrett, Whitaker, Grimwood, and Co. It's clear that the firm was still mostly in the hands of the families who founded it in 1859.

I'd love to know who Herbert E. Wootten and Harry Brown were. They could well have been relatives of the other families, just with different surnames. That's most likely the case as, if you remember, the original partners took all the Ordinary Share on flotation.

Next we discover that they didn't own the freehold on their Hawley Crescent site. Not so unusual in London, where large swathes of the city are leasehold. We also learn that they had their own maltings in Fulham. Odd place to have maltings, but London was way more industrial back then. I must see if I can find them on the large-scale OS map.

And isn't this handy: they tell us that they owned or leased 84 tied houses. Which along with the brewery were worth just shy of  £200,000. It's a shame the pubs aren't valued separately. I'd love to know what they were worth on average. We also learn that the whole business was worth £328,419.

There's also the company's profits for the preceding three years. Another handy thing to know.

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