The enquiry into the takeover of New Zealand's leading winemaker Montana by Lion Nathan will not reach an end until May, according to a Montana spokesman. It is thought the most likely date is somewhere between May 21st and 24th, a report by Dow Jones said today.

Lion Nathan won a bidding war with the UK's Allied Domecq to gain control of Montana back in February. However both Montana executives and Allied Domecq complained that Lion had broken stock exchange listing rules and Montana's constitution in the takeover.

Lion Nathan had been granted a waiver allowing it to increase its shareholding in the Montana from 28% to 51%. Allied is complaining that Lion entered into restricted transfers prior to the expiry of the restricted transfer period as stated in the waiver.

New Zealand's market surveillance panel, which monitors such activities, agreed to investigate the takeover by appointing an independent standing committee.