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18/08/2005

More write-downs wipe out wine producer’s dividend

Simon Evans reported in The Australian Financial Review on 18 August 2005 that embattled wine producer Evans & Tate had its credibility shredded further this week when it warned that write-downs would at least double and that shareholders would be denied a dividend.

The company’s banker, ANZ Bank, last month forced founder Franklin Tate to step down as chief executive in return for providing an extra $10 million in working capital.

The board of Evans & Tate warned on Wednesday 17 August that an independent valuation of its wine inventory had indicated that write-downs of at least $16.5 million would now be required, up from the $8 million to $10 million it announced on 28 June.

The Western Australian-based wine producer said the revision was necessary because of an oversupply of bulk wine and a deterioration of prices.

Evans & Tate were savaged this week, losing 18 per cent in early afternoon trading. They closed at 32.50 cents, down seven cents.

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