The Australian wine and juice company Signature Brands Limited said today that it had appointed Andrew Brown as its new chairman.

Brown is the largest shareholder and managing director of Trent Capital Limited, an ASX listed strategic investment company. He is the former Head of Equities at Rothschild Australia Asset Management and has been involved in
stockbroking, funds management and corporate investment for 24 years.

Making the announcement, SBL also said that its unaudited management accounts for the five months to 30 November 2004 show SBL to have lost approximately A$1m at the EBITDA level and A$1.4m before tax.

The company said the financial performance was "disappointing as a result of continuing losses from the wine business, slower than expected expansion of Pulp, in particular the expected take-up of domestic franchise arrangements and unexpected legal expenses."

SBL also said it has agreed to place a total of 14,038,462 new shares in the company at a price of A$0.13 per share to raise A$1,825,000. These shares will be placed to four groups of investors: 5,769,231 to a controlled entity of Trent Capital Limited (these shares will be placed immediately); 846,154 shares to Wilson Asset Management (International); 3,461,539 shares to other sophisticated and professional investors; and 961,538 shares to existing directors and management, partially to capitalise loans to the company.

The last three tranches of shares will be subject to the approval of shareholders at a General Meeting of the company to be held early in 2005.