The chief executive of Cosentino Signature Wines has resigned from the company as a condition for the California-based wine group securing a US$3m loan.

Keith Smith and fellow board member Michael Forman have stepped down as part of the provisions of the loan, which forms part of the latest stage of refinancing debts at the London-listed company.

Company director Larry Soldinger has assumed the roles of chief executive and chairman after MCOZ Preferred LLC, a private entity controlled by Soldinger, provided the funds.

Cosentino said today (12 February) that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with its lenders on a refinancing package, which is believed to include the sale of certain wine assets.

The company said it is working to complete the refinancing package by the end of March.

Last month, Cosentino warned that operating losses for 2006 would come in slightly higher than expected.

The Napa Valley-based winery said in a trading update that, while revenues grew last year, operating loss was likely to be in the region of US$3.4m.