AUS: Pendulum swings for Evans & Tate

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Debt-stricken winemaker Evans & Tate appears set to escape financial collapse after its bankers agreed to a financial restructure today (18 June).

"It's been quite a long battle," said Max Fowles, whose Pendulum Investor Group will be E&T's cornerstone investor under the restructure. "It's a significant trademark in West Australia, a big operation, so it's good to see if we can help."

The deal will see ANZ Bank take a 64% stake in E&T in return for erasing A$45m (US$37.9m) of the $100m debt it is owed by the winemaker.

Pendulum, jointly-owned by winery investor Peter Fogarty, will then buy half of ANZ's shares for an undisclosed sum, after which E&T will raise $16.7m in capital through a rights issue to be fully underwritten by ANZ and Pendulum.

Fowles said the ANZ plan that was abandoned last week would have left E&T with insufficient funds because it only included a $5m capital raising.

Fogarty, who owns wineries in the Hunter Valley and Margaret River, has ruled out merging his other assets with E&T.

Late last week, speculation mounted that Yarraman Winery is considering a fresh bid for E&T. Australian press said on Thursday (14 June) that Yarraman is considering a fresh bid, after reports claimed that E&T's board had been discussing potential offers and restructuring proposals.

Sectors: Wine

Companies: Yarraman Winery

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