Rutherglen's Buller Wines going into liquidation

CREDITORS yesterday voted to place Rutherglen’s Buller Wines into liquidation.

The move will have no impact on efforts to sell the business as a going concern.

A decision on the sale is imminent, with final details still being worked out.

Administrator Sal Algeri, from administrators Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said he hoped more details about the sale could be released next week.

The fourth-generation business went into voluntary administration in December, although it has continued to operate since then.

The creditors’ vote took place at a meeting in Melbourne late yesterday morning.

“The recommendations from ourselves to place the company in liquidation was voted upon and the creditors voted to (do just that),” Mr Algeri said.

“That doesn’t really change anything as such as the sale of the business wasn’t subject to the liquidation taking place.

“It was independent of that.”

Mr Algeri said the sale of the business was well under way.

“We’re really waiting for that to settle,” he said.

“We’re just waiting on a couple of conditions that the purchaser needs to meet and waiting for those to come through.”

Mr Algeri said details would be released next week about the buyer, the Judd Group, “once we get a bit more clarity on settlement times”.

Administrators said in a report sent to creditors last week that contracts had been exchanged with the Judd Group for the sale of the business and its assets for a purchase consideration of $3.9 million.

The completion of the sale depended on pending liquor licence transfers.

More than 70 interested parties contacted the administrators when the sales process began back in February.

From that, Deloitte ended up with four indicative offers for the business and all its assets.

“Three bidders were selected as preferred bidders and participated in a due diligence process prior to submission of final offers,” Deloitte said in the report.

“Two of the three bidders withdrew from the sale process.”

The $3.9 million in funds from the Judd Group are being held in trust until the liquor licences are transferred.

Buller Wines employees, as priority creditors, and secured creditors are expected to receive a dividend of 100 cents in the dollar, while unsecured creditors might expect a distribution of 13.7 to 30 cents in the dollar.

An oversupply of grapes and wine plus the high Australian dollar were blamed for the company’s financial problems.

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