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Yarraman Winery has moved to improve its takeover bid for Australian wine group Evans & Tate.

Yarraman, which is listed on the NASDAQ but has vineyards in Australia's Upper Hunter valley, had its first offer rebuffed by Evans & Tate last month. Under the revised offer, Yarraman will swap one of its shares for every 6.75 shares in Evans & Tate, equivalent to 26.5 cents for each share in the West Australia-based wine group.

In its opening gambit, Yarraman offered one share for every nine shares in Evans & Tate. In its sweetened offer, announced to the Australian Stock Exchange today (2 February), Yarraman has also said it would inject A$38.5m (US$29.8m) of new equity into Evans & Tate and cover the company's A$90m debt with ANZ Bank.

US conglomerate GE will provide debt financing, Yarraman said. In all, the revised bid values Evans & Tate at A$141m - an increase of A$10m on Yarraman's first offer.

Evans & Tate said it is "considering" Yarraman's fresh offer, which is open until 7 February.

Evans & Tate has had a tough 18 months, announcing a series of losses, write-downs and winery sales as the business was hit by Australia's wine glut.

In December, Yarraman CEO Wayne Rockall told just-drinks he is hopeful an acquisition of Evans & Tate would be "the first of several" the company makes throughout New World wine territories.


Sectors: Wine

Companies: Yarraman Winery

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