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Tuart indemnity moves

TUART Resources has moved to enforce an agreement with WA businessman Dean Scooks, his business partner Carol Hardie and their associates indemnifying the company against net liabilities of almost $5 million stemming from the takeover of wine group Nelson Ridge.

“This has been necessitated by Scook-Hardie’s failure to comply with their obligations under the agreement,” Tuart chairman Ed Saunders said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Tuart has also sued companies linked to Mr Scook for $200,000. Mr Scook told Business News that the first he knew of the matter was the stock exchange announcement.

“They can’t call in the entire indemnity, some of it refers to issues that are undefined at moment,” he said.

“There is a lot of bluff and bluster.”

Both parties said they had handed the matter over to their solicitors.

Under the Tuart-Nelson Ridge deal, Mr Scook and Ms Hardie, along with several companies associated with them, provided an indemnity to Tuart over net liabilities totalling $4.6 million.

According to its prospectus issued in February, Tuart took a charge over 80 million of its own shares and 40 million options as security if the event the indemnifiers failed to pay out the liabilities.

The indemnity agreement was part of a $37 million deal under which recently listed minerals player Tuart moved into the wine business.

Nelson Ridge’s assets included management control of Donnybrook tax-effective funded Preston Vale vineyard, WA’s biggest single planting to date.

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