Wine go ahead

TWO of three Margaret River wine projects looking for about $140 million between them have won enough subscriptions to go ahead in what has been described as the toughest tax-effective market yet.

Palandri Wines claims to have raised between $45 million and $50 million and is confident of reaching $70 million of its $80 million target by the end of the month. Rival player Watershed has achieved about half its $25 million target.

But Settlement 22’s attempt to raise $37 million over three years collapsed after it failed to reach the minimum required. Project backers are considering seeking somewhere between $1 million and $4 million in private equity to keep the project moving forward.

Palandri solicitor Gus Irdi confirmed his client remained committed to raising about $25 million for the purchase of Amberley Estate, which issued a 14-day default notice on June 1.

The Margaret River newcomer paid a $500,000 deposit two months ago, but funding from UK investors has been delayed.

It is understood Palandri is seeking an extension, until at least July 31.

In the wake of the uncertainty, Amberley has retained managing director Eddie Price, who had considered walking away after 11 years with the company.

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