INDIA: Indage Vintners hits fresh obstacles
Indage Vintners' shares suspended
Indage Vintners' revival has stalled after the Indian wine group saw its shares suspended and auditors fail to approve its accounts.
The situation has thrown up fresh speculation in India's wine industry that Indage could fold, less than a year after the group succeeded in fending off a winding-up order.
Indage, which only two years ago was considered a pioneer in India's fledgling wine industry, has been suspended from trading on the country's stock exchange. The exchange authorities said that the action has been taken for "penal reasons".
In addition, the firm's auditors have refused to sign off on its financial performance for the first three quarters of its fiscal year, to the end of December 2010. "Certain queries and concerns were ... raised by the members of the audit committee, and thus the said unaudited results were not approved," the company said.
Indage added that it is currently unable to "transact any business" due to conditions laid down by the High Court in Mumbai. In September last year, the wine group avoided bankruptcy by reaching a debt repayment deal with the court.
"It seems like they are caught in the quicksand," said the president of the Indian Wine Academy, Subhash Arora. "I won't be surprised if they go bankrupt, unless someone takes over," he told just-drinks today (4 March).
In October last year, Indage revealed that net losses for the 12 months to the end of March 2010 were INR2.23bn (US$49.7m), significantly deeper than losses of INR607m in the previous year.
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