Make money while you sleep? Mr & Mrs Smith launch Retail Bond

Boutique travel entrepreneurs Mr & Mrs Smith launch Smith Bonds 

Investors can earn up to 9.5% interest to book stylish hotel stays, with the first retail bond from the boutique travel industry

Launched 29 April 2012

Over the last 10 years, Mr & Mrs Smith has evolved from being a niche guidebook publisher to become an award-winning booking service, and a worldwide travel club. The boutique hotel specialists have expanded into new territories, developed their own bespoke booking technologies, built entertaining and useful apps, and grown consistently, year-on-year, inspiring legions of loyal fans along the way. Now they are seeking to raise capital to finance their next steps as a global travel provider.

In April 2012, Mr & Mrs Smith will be inviting boutique hotel lovers and retail investors generally, to register applications for the Smith Bond. This funding solution is a four-year retail bond, paying a fixed rate of interest, which will enable members and supporters of Mr & Mrs Smith to share in the benefits of the business growth that the Bond will help fund. Smith Bonds are also open to other private and institutional investors who are looking for a fixed income product generating a fixed rate of return.

For a minimum investment of £1,000, Smith bondholders will receive either an annual interest rate of 7.5% paid in cash twice a year. Or, as an added and unique benefit to this bond, those investors who choose  to receive their interest as Smith Loyalty Money (a pound-for-pound equivalent currency, which can be used towards booking stays at any of Mr & Mrs Smith’s 900+ boutique hotels and houses worldwide), will receive a 9.5% interest rate on their investment – an additional 2.0% return. Subscriptions may be made in multiples of £1,000, with no upper limit. This is the first time bond investors have been able to choose to earn their interest in either cash or loyalty currency.

This inclusive, customer-focused approach to fundraising has already been successfully used in other industries and by other ‘passion brands’, including Ecotricity, Hotel Chocolat and John Lewis. However, this will be the first SME retail bond launched by a leading boutique travel brand. Applications are open until Friday 22 June 2012 or until the maximum investment level of £5 million has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Expert investor, Chairman of Risk Capital, FT columnist, and the serial entrepreneur behind superbrands such as Pizza Express and Giraffe, Luke Johnson commented:

“As economic conditions have deteriorated, owners of small businesses feel less confident about raising equity or borrowing money and it also certain that bank credit has got harder to obtain, and is more expensive than it was. It is not surprising therefore that the entrepreneurial minds behind many SMEs are seeking more enterprising methods of raising debt capital without the help of the banks. Crowdfunding may prove a useful addition to the repertoire of places founders can go for money: it’s interesting that America has recently passed the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act to encourage this form of investment too. In the UK the nascent yet growing SME bond market is enabling some SMEs, particularly those with powerful brands, to leverage their brand loyalty and raise funds for their further growth.”

What makes this particular bond even more unusual and enterprising is the decision to offer investors the option of having the interest paid in loyalty money at a higher rate of interest than the cash return – marking an even greater confidence in the power of the product and the brand as the hook for the investor.

With offices in London, New York and Melbourne, Mr and Mrs Smith offers an expert 24-hour Travel Team available on 0845 304 0700 and online booking at

About Smith Bonds
“Smith customers today want more than romantic weekends: they also travel with their families, with friends, or for business, and they’re still looking for places to stay with the style, character and attention to detail that they’ve come to expect from our collection. That’s why we’re expanding further to develop a family of sister brands, starting with Smith & Family, specialising in child-friendly trips, which launches in late 2012. To help us do this – and to continue growing the Smith brand into new technologies, products and markets – we’re introducing Smith Bonds. They’re our way of raising the funds we need for our expansion plans while giving our members and supporters the chance to share in the success of our development.”
James Lohan, CEO of Mr & Mrs Smith

Smith Bonds are effectively corporate bonds, which function as ‘IOU’s from the Company, under which the sum invested will be repaid in full at maturity, paying a fixed rate of interest throughout their lifetime.

Smith Bonds give bondholders the opportunity to realise a half-yearly fixed cash interest return on the initial investment until the bonds are redeemed.

Smith Bonds have an initial four-year term, which will automatically extend for further 12-month periods until redeemed.

The proceeds from the Smith Bonds will be used to finance the company’s expansion both in the UK and internationally; to develop our proprietary technology and to create new products and original content.

Main Terms:
• Minimum subscription: £1,000 and multiples thereof, with no upper limit;
• Maturity: Four-year initial term.
• Coupon: 7.5% in cash per annum, or 9.5% for investors choosing to receive interest payments in Smith loyalty money. Bondholders will also automatically become BlackSmith members.
• Security: Smith Bonds are an unsecured debt of Smith Bonds plc. The repayment obligations of Smith Bonds plc have been guaranteed by Spy Publishing Limited.
• Use of Proceeds: investment in new products, UK and international expansion, IT systems and infrastructure, working capital and general corporate purposes.

Eligible Applicants
UK resident individuals, aged 18 years old or older may apply for and hold Smith Bonds. Applications must be made in sole names only.

Companies, trusts, charities or other legal entities who are resident in the UK for corporation tax purposes and who are not prevented by the laws of their governing jurisdiction or place of incorporation from applying for or holding Smith Bonds, may apply for and hold Smith Bonds. However, applications must be made in a sole name or as a sole legal entity (i.e. limited company, public limited company etc).

To be clear, the following MAY NOT invest in Smith Bonds:

Non-UK resident individuals (i.e. individuals who are resident in Isle of Man, Channel Islands etc as they do not form part of United Kingdom);Any individual aged under 18 years old; and dual named applicants – applications must be made in a sole name only.

Application Process – see

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