Australia's International Wine Investment Fund, which had been BRL Hardy's largest shareholder, said today that it would be accepting close to three quarters of its entitlement from the Constellation Brands takeover of BRL Hardy in cash. It will take the remainder in scrip.

The IWIF said it would accept A$142m (US$85m) in cash and A$50m in Constellation scrip for its remaining 18.3 million shares. The cash will apparently be used to pay debt and provide a distribution to unit holders, but the scrip offer was attractive under conservative forecasts, Wine fund manager Berren Asset Management said.

The wine fund has already accepted gross proceeds of A$22m from the closing out of exchange traded options and trading portfolio shares since the merger was announced. A general meeting of unit holders is now to be held in July, which will decide the future of the fund. "The meeting's agenda will include future investment strategies and the option of winding up the wine fund," Berren said in a statement.