The biggest shareholder in the Australian wine group BRL Hardy's today formally and unanimously voted to accept the "knockout price" takeover offer from the US Constellation Brands.

Shareholders in the listed International Wine Investment Fund approved the cash or scrip offer for the Fund's 10.3% stake in BRL Hardy making approval of the Constellation bid a virtual formality.

Chris Day, chief executive of IWIF's managers, said the Constellation offer of A$10.50 (US$6.40) was a knockout price.

"While I would like to think that a great Australian company would remain Australian owned, in this market it is a knockout price and we wouldn't get a better price for a number of years."

IWIF will pay a special dividend after the take-over is ratified and then decide its own direction in wine investments.