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Vineyard plans property listing

WINE company Evans & Tate hopes to emulate stock market giants Wesfarmers and Westfield Holdings with its plan to spin off property assets into a separately listed vehicle.

The Australiasian Vineyard Trust’s first assets will be 300 hecatres of land near Manjimup where Evans & Tate plan to carve out WA’s biggest single vineyard.

The company is seeking about $6 million in seed capital for the AVT venture, with the aim of growing the trust to about $100 million in two years and then floating it on the stock market.

AVT will own vineyards from which Evans & Tate will be supplied, as well as buying vineyards owned by other winemakers under similar arrangements.

The structure is similar to the Westfield Property Trust and the Bunnings Property Trust but will concentrate on vineyards rather than shopping centres and retail stores.

Evans & Tate director Mike Calneggia believes the AVT concept will allow the company to move assets off balance sheets without the risk of losing a good vineyard to a competitor.

Mr Calneggia said supply agree-ments with independent vineyards meant there was a risk that production could go elsewhere if another party, possibly a rival, bought the vineyard.

“We have had pretty good feedback from other companies who are facing these issues,” he said.

“What we are trying to do with the trust is set up a situation where the capital of the owner of the asset is transient but the asset itself sits pretty much untouched.”

“It negates the likelihood for the owner of the asset to sell it to a competitor of the tennant.”

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