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Holmes a Court takes a back seat

PERTH businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court is set to retire as chairman from cattle and wine company Heytesbury, effectively handing entire control of the East Perth-based family business to son, Paul.

Speaking at a business function last week, the former chemistry teacher said while she was taking a step back from corporate life, she would continue as chairman of construction company John Holland Group.

"I'm not going to stay on as chairman [of Heytesbury] for very much longer," she said.

"The great thing that has happened in our family in the last couple of weeks is that we have resolved the issues now, that families often face in 30 years' time."

The Heytesbury interests of Mrs Holmes a Court and her other children, Catherine and Simon, who live in Melbourne, will be bought out by Paul. The eldest sibling, Peter, left Heytesbury in 1998.

After the 1990 death of husband Robert Holmes a Court, who built up the business, Mrs Holmes a Court took over the debt-laden company and cut its size.

Mrs Holmes a Court said despite her imminent departure from Heytesbury, she would stay closely associated to the arts in Perth and Australia, remaining chairman of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

"To be honest, I am more involved in the business world of Australia through John Holland because it is operating everywhere," she said.

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