It has only just been reported to the stock exchange in vague detail, but documents were served last night to sack Berren Asset Management as the manager of the listed $150 million International Wine Investment Fund.

Accountant Gary Mares, acting on behalf of the same unit holders who earlier this month defeated a controversial plan to internalise IWI management, wants an EGM called within two months to deal with three resolutions. These include sacking Berren, replacing it with Condor Asset Management as the responsible entity for IWI, and lifting overseas investment and borrowing limitation.

Mares told Crikey last night that he tried working with Berren but it wasn’t interested, so the gloves are coming off.

“Condor’s management has recently changed so any searches they do at ASIC will be a waste of money,” Mares said. “For tactical reasons we have no intention of disclosing to Berren before they are required to prepare the Notice of Meeting any further information about the new management of Condor or our plans for the Fund. Although we have tried working with Berren to facilitate a resignation and an orderly transition of the RE’s responsibilities, they have consistently used our invitation as an excuse to elicit information about our proposed RE.”

As at 11am, IWI units were in an unexplained trading halt pending an announcement, but shortly before midday some details were released as Berren said it was seeking legal advice on its position. Keep an eye on this link for a more detailed response from Berren and IWI this afternoon.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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