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Raider moves on cash kitty

THE cash box left after the failure of WA’s first wine company listing is fighting an east coast bidder from the industry, which appears to be after a $5 million kitty left after the sale of three vineyards last year.

The WA-based target, Vincorp, has referred an off market scrip bid by NSW-based Simon Gilbert Wines to the Corporations and Securities Panel, citing deficiencies in the bidder’s Part A document.

It is understood Vincorp has put aside a number of potential invest-ment projects to fight the unwanted suitor.

Listed shells, particularly cash boxes, have proved very attractive to those with new concepts seeking a public company with the track record required for a float.

Simon Gilbert is run by John Quirk, the former managing director of Vincorp, who quit last year around the same time the company had completed a sell-off of assets in Donnybrook and Victoria under the direction of new chairman Alan Boys.

The offer is for one Simon Gilbert share and one Simon Gilbert option exercisable at $1 for every five Vincorp shares, a valuation which sits around the range Vincorp shares have traded but is based on thin volumes in both stocks.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Mr Boys told Vincorp shareholders not to do anything until the company had issued its own formal response.

Vincorp is waiting until Corpor-ations and Securities Panel hands down its finding, possibly as early as this week, before issuing a response to the bid.

Vincorp has legal advice that the bidder’s statement contains material deficiencies, particularly in relation to the disclosure of financial information,” Mr Boys said in a release to the exchange.

Vincorp launched on the stock market about four years ago on the back of an organic wine concept, but its history has been dogged by dramas from legal actions against cork producers to embarrassing reversals of sales in Europe.

Last year it quit its major assets, selling its Virgin Hills winery and vineyards in Victoria.

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