Lower income from trading and investments by BRL Hardy's largest shareholder has significantly increased the likelihood of success for Constellation Brand in its takeover of the Australian wine group.

International Wine Investment Fund reported a first half profit to December 31 down to A$1.15m (US$690,000) from A$3.54m for the same period a year before.

But the Constellation offer has added more than A$80m to IWIF's net tangible assets from its 12.7% holding in BRL Hardy. The 4000 unit holders in IWIF formally meet in March 17 to approve a board recommendation to accept the Constellation offer. As well as its BRL Hardy holding, IWIF has investments in the British Bibendum Wine and Vinoceros liquor businesses.