Crikey was first and on the money in predicting the listed International Wine Industry Fund restructuring proposal would get voted down, as occurred in Adelaide yesterday. This is what we wrote on 25 February:

Well, it now looks like the controversial proposal is curtains and Berren will either resign or be sacked by the unitholders.
Accountant Gary Mares is acting for the Tasmanian unitholders who own 13% of the fund. He didn’t hold back when talking to Crikey this morning:

“We have asked Berren to tender their resignation in a gentlemanly manner. They can either go quietly or suffer the embarrassment of us calling a meeting of unitholders and removing them.”

Mr Mares said he was supported by other key unitholders including an Isle of Man based hedge fund called Laxey which has just emerged on the register with 9%. Select Asset Management has a further 5.25% and Mares said they will also be rejecting the restructuring proposal.

Crikey is now predicting that IWI boss Ian Macoun will soon be tendering his resignation as the proposal has several elements which appear too generous for him.

And this is what The Agereported this morning:

The three unit holders that voted against the proposals were hedge funds Select Asset Management and Laxey Partners, and unit holder Michael Seabrook (represented by Gary Mares). Between them, they have 28% of the units.

CRIKEY: It is very rare for shareholders in Australia to actually vote down a company-sponsored resolution. Companies such as AMP, Southern Cross Broadcasting and John Fairfax have withdrawn controversial resolutions in recent years when facing certain defeat, but the IWI boys had the hide to actually go through with the expense of holding the meeting. Ian Macoun is now looking for a new job, but he will get a $500,000 termination payment to cheer him up.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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