STRUGGLING winemaker Evans & Tate Ltd said it has received in-principle approval from its bank to restructure its debt-laden balance sheet. Evans & Tate said the aim was to reduce debt, which stood at $169 million at June 30, to sustainable levels within the current financial year. The restructure, which will include a capital raising, will occur under a court-approved scheme of arrangement. Evans & Tate managing director Martin Johnson reportedly said the winemaker’s bank, ANZ, had provided preliminary support for a proposal he described as the next step in the company’s turnaround strategy. Evans & Tate recorded a net loss of $63.9 million for financial year ending June 30, after being hit by the tough wine market and big advisory costs associated with its financial problems. Evans & Tate recently sold its Mildura and Griffiths wineries, generating about $30 million, most of which was used to repay debt.
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